Critical Theories of the State: Marxist, Neo-Marxist, Post-Marxist

Overview

Critical Theories of the State is a clear and accessible survey of radical perspectives on the modern state.  By focusing on Marxist theory and its variations, particularly as applied to advanced industrial societies and contemporary welfare states, Clyde W. Barrow provides a more extensive and thorough treatment than is available in any other work. 
    Barrow divides the methodological assumptions and key hypotheses of Marxist, Neo-Marxist, and ...

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Critical Theories of the State: Marxist, Neomarxist, Postmarxist

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Overview

Critical Theories of the State is a clear and accessible survey of radical perspectives on the modern state.  By focusing on Marxist theory and its variations, particularly as applied to advanced industrial societies and contemporary welfare states, Clyde W. Barrow provides a more extensive and thorough treatment than is available in any other work. 
    Barrow divides the methodological assumptions and key hypotheses of Marxist, Neo-Marxist, and Post-Marxist theories into five distinct approaches: instrumentalist, structuralist, derivationist, systems-analytic, and organizational realist. He categorizes the many theorists discussed in the book, including such thinkers as Elmer Altvater, G. William Domhoff, Fred Block, Claus Offe, and Theda Skocpol according to their concepts of the state’s relationship to capital and their methodological approach to the state.   Based on this survey, Barrow elaborates a compelling typology of radical state theories that identifies with remarkable clarity crucial points of overlap and divergence among the various theories.  
    Scholars conducting research within the rubric of state theory, political development, and policy history will find Critical Theories of the State an immensely valuable review of the literature.  Moreover, Barrow’s work will make an excellent textbook for undergraduate and graduate courses in political science and sociology, and can also be used by those teaching theory courses in international relations, history, and political economy.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Critical Theories of the State is the only work which surveys systematically the radical theories of the capitalist (Western) state in one volume.  As the author leads the reader from one theoretical school of thought to another, one gets a very clear sense of the issues and debates that engaged the varied theoreticians over the last quarter of a century.  The specialist will benefit from the comparative theoretical overview and the sophisticated critique; the student will learn, in addition, the unique characteristics of the respective theories. The book is also valuable for its analytical conclusion, which points the reader toward what the future holds for the theory of the capitalist state.”—Samih K. Farsoun, American University

"Barrow's thoughtful and informed study outlines the shaping of the American university system against the background of rising corporate power, the demands of the state ideological apparatus, and the ebb and flow of popular forces.  It provides much insight into the tensions inherent in a system of private power and democratic ideals, and their consequences for the academic institutions and intellectual life generally."—Noam Chomsky

Booknews
An introduction to the major theoretical frameworks currently used by Marxist scholars to understand the state, for students and researchers unfamiliar with state theory. Assuming no familiarity with the previous literature, Barrow examines a spectrum of competing Marxist theoretical approaches--instrumentalist, structuralist, derivationist, systems-analytic and organizational realist--focusing on their respective analyses of the modern welfare state. Paper edition (unseen), $15.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780299137144
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/1993
  • Pages: 230
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Clyde W. Barrow is acting chair and associate professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts–Dartmouth. He is the author of Universities and the Capitalist State, also published by the University of Wisconsin Press.

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Table of Contents

Figures
Tables
Acknowledgments
List of Abbreviations
Introduction 3
1 Plain Marxism: The Instrumentalist Approach 13
2 Neo-Marxism: The Structuralist Approach 51
3 Between Neo-Marxism and Post-Marxism: The Derivationist Approach 77
4 Post-Marxism I: The Systems-Analytic Approach 96
5 Post-Marxism II: The Organizational Realist Approach 125
6 The Antinomies of Marxist Political Theory 146
Notes 161
Sources Consulted 197
Index 215
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