State Power and Social Forces

State Power and Social Forces : Domination and Transformation in the Third World

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This eminently readable 1994 collection of high-quality, country-specific essays on Third World politics provides, through a variety of well-integrated themes and approaches, an examination of 'state theory' as it has been practised in the past, and how it must be refined for the future. The contributors go beyond the previously articulated 'bringing the state back in' model to offer their own 'state-in-society' approach. They argue that states, which should be disaggregated for meaningful comparative study, are best analysed as parts of societies. States may help mould, but are also continually moulded by, the societies within which they are embedded. States' capacities, further, will vary depending on their ties to other social forces. And other social forces will be capable of being mobilised into political contention only under certain conditions. Political contention pitting states against other social forces may sometimes be mutually enfeebling, but at other times, mutually empowering.show more

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"For anyone interested in knowing where the comparative theory of the state might be heading at the present time, this volume provides some excellent signposts. The case studies are particularly rewarding and enlightening for the many excellent insights and reflections they contain on the cases addressed...represents the best work published in the field to date." Robert H. Jackson, American Political Science Review "...fascinating and innovative volume...It is a fine achievement, and as sure to provoke many to rethink their own research as it is to challenge others to probe and puzzle over the possibilities or potential pitfalls of its approach." Dorothy J. Solinger, Journal of Politics "...a fresh, readable volume that is essential reading for anyone interested in civil society and the state in developing countries. The nine chapters that make the body of the book are carefully, but imaginatively, crafted and thoroughly grounded in specific historical knowledge of the cases. Their collective range is as impressive as their individual quality and they are nicely 'bookended' with introductory and concluding essays by the editors...[T]his volume opens up new debates in the process of superseding older ones, which is exactly what a good collection should do. Students of state-society relations are indebted to the authors and the editors for a series of crisp arguments that are theoretically provocative precisely because they are so nicely grounded in particular cases. They have pushed forward immeasurably our understanding of how states and societies interact." Peter Evans, Studies in Comparative International Development "In this seminal book, scholars working in the Weberian tradition of political sociology suggest a more balanced state-in-society perspective to replace the old state-versus-society framework that rests on a view of power as a zero-sum conflict between state and society." Xu Wang, Comparative Politicsshow more

Table of contents

Preface; List of contributors; Introduction: developing a state-in-society perspective; Part I. Theoretical and Methodological Considerations: 1. The state in society: an approach to struggles for domination Joel S. Migdal; Part II. States: Embedded in Society: 2. Traditional politics against state transformation in Brazil Frances Hagopian; 3. State power and social organization in China Vivienne Shue; 4. Centralization and powerlessness: India's democracy in a comparative perspective Atul Kohli; 5. States and ruling classes in postcolonial Africa: the enduring contradictions of power Catherine Boone; Part III. Social Forces: Engaged with State Power: 6. Labor divided: sources of state formation in modern China Elizabeth J. Perry; 7. Business conflict, collaboration and privilege in interwar Egypt Robert Vitalis; 8. A time and a place for the non-state: social change in the Ottoman empire during the 'long nineteenth century' Resat Kasaba; 9. Peasant-state relations in postcolonial Africa: patterns of engagement and disengagement Michael Bratton; 10. Engaging the state: associational life in sub-Saharan Africa Naomi Chazan; Part IV. Conclusion: 11. State power and social forces: on political contention and accommodation in the Third World Atul Kohli and Vivienne Shue; Index.show more

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