Theories of the Democratic State

Theories of the Democratic State


By (author) John Dryzek, By (author) Patrick Dunleavy

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  • Publisher: Palgrave MacMillan
  • Format: Paperback | 392 pages
  • Dimensions: 156mm x 230mm x 26mm | 558g
  • Publication date: 15 June 2009
  • Publication City/Country: Basingstoke
  • ISBN 10: 0230542875
  • ISBN 13: 9780230542877
  • Illustrations note: 22 black & white line drawings
  • Sales rank: 64,264

Product description

We live in a world governed by states whose enduring importance and domination of contemporary politics has been strikingly underlined by their renewed activism in the face of a global economic crisis. Yet the very nature of states remains deeply contested, with a range of competing theories offering very different views of how they actually do or should operate. In the past this competition has lead to deep ideological conflict - and even to war. In this major new work, John S. Dryzek and Patrick Dunleavy provide a broad-ranging assessment of classical and contemporary theories of the state, focusing primarily on the democratic state form that has come to dominate modern politics. The authors' starting point is the classical theories of the state: pluralism, elite theory, Marxism and market liberalism. They then turn to the contemporary forms of pluralism prevalent in political science, systematically exploring how they address central issues, such as networked governance, globalization, and changing patterns of electoral and identity politics. They proceed to analyse a range of key contemporary critiques of modern states and democracy that have emerged from feminism, environmentalism, neo-conservatism and post-modernism. Each approach is carefully introduced and analysed as far as possible in relation to a common set of issues and headings. Theories of the Democratic State takes the reader straight to the heart of contemporary issues and debates and, in the process, provides a challenging and distinctive introduction to and reassessment of contemporary political science.

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Author information

JOHN S. DRYZEK is Professor of Political Science and Australian Research Council Federation Fellow in the Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University. PATRICK DUNLEAVY is Professor of Political Science and Public Policy Chair at the London School of Economics and Politics Science, UK.

Review quote

"At a time when many are rethinking the relationship between state and market, this is a very useful survey setting the issues in historical and theoretical perspective. Like its predecessor, Dunleavy and O'Leary's Theories of the State, it will be very effective for course use." - Peter A. Hall, Harvard University "[A] good introductory book which can be warmly recommended to its intended audience" - Edwin Van de Haar, Political Studies

Table of contents

Introduction: The State and Liberal Democratic Politics PART I: CLASSICAL VIEWS Pluralism Elite Theory Marxism Market Liberalism PART II: PLURALIST TRANSFORMATIONS From Neo-Pluralism to Governance Competitive Electoral Politics Identity Politics PART III: CRITIQUES OF THE STATE Democratic Critique and Renewal Feminist Theory of the State Environmental Theory of the State The Conservative Reaction PART IV: BEYOND THE STATE Post-Modernism Globalization Current and Future Debates About the State