The approaches we have been considering so far arose directly as a reaction to early modernisation perspectives. In this chapter we turn to examine what could be seen as the reaction to the reaction, a heterogeneous body of work which has, however, shared a common ‘structural’ approach — that is, a focus on what are perceived as the basic framing structures of politics, whether understood in terms of class, the state or latterly state-civil society relations. We begin by considering neo-Marxist responses or amendments to dependency theory, which stressed the role of indigenous class structures. That strand of analysis came increasingly to focus on the state as a potential site of class formation and as possessed of its own relative autonomy. At the same time, writers from a less exclusively Marxist background were also beginning to recognise the analytic importance of the state, and specifically to explore authoritarian state forms such as corporatism and bureaucratic authoritarianism. In doing so, however, we suggest they may have exaggerated or taken on trust the effectiveness of the Third World state. Other writers have emphasised its characteristic fragility and permeability, while also acknowledging exceptions, notably amongst the East Asian NICs.
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