Key features of the book include: an account of the authors theoretical development; a review of recent developments in state theory and the cultural turn in political economy; critical strategic-relational re-readings of major state theorists Marx on political representation, Gramsci on the spatiality of state power, Poulantzas on the state as a social relation, and the later Foucault on statecraft; applications of the strategic-relational approach to important issues concerning the contemporary state: its gendered selectivity, the future of the national state, the states temporal sovereignty, and the relevance of multi-scalar meta-governance in Europe for the more general future of the state. The book concludes with recommendations for future strategic-relational research in political economy and state theory.
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“Bob Jessop has long been one of the most outstanding and
influential contemporary exponents of state theory. In his new book
he returns to reconsider some of the theoretical sources of his own
distinctive strategic-relational approach – Marx, Gramsci,
Foucault, and, above all, Nicos Poulantzas – before, suitably
refreshed, addressing more substantive issues. The resulting
reflections will be of great value to anyone struggling to make
sense of the state in the era of neo-liberal
Alex Callinicos, King’s College London
“Not for the first time, Bob Jessop's theoretically
sophisticated and empirically astute dissection of social and
political trends serves to breathe fresh life into the theory of
the capitalist state. Yet what sets this work apart, above all, is
the way in which it draws together three decades of profound
insight into a tightly integrated framework for social, political
and economic analysis. This, the most complete statement of the
strategic-relational approach, should be required reading for all
analysts, students and, ideally, all agents and subjects of state
Colin Hay, University of Sheffield
List of Boxes, Figures and Tables.
What is the State?.
A Preliminary Definition of the State.
‘Putting this Book in its Place’.
PART I: THEORIZING THE STATE.
1. The Development of the Strategic-Relational Approach.
Three Sources of the Strategic-Relational State Approach.
The First Phase in the Strategic-Relational Approach.
The Second Phase of the Strategic-Relational Approach.
The Third Phase of the Strategic-Relational Approach.
Interim Strategic-Relational Conclusions.
2. Bringing the State Back in (Yet Again).
The Marxist Revival and the Strategic-Relational Approach.
Strategic-Relational Tendencies in the Second Wave.
New Directions of Research.
PART II: SOURCES OF THE STRATEGIC-RELATIONAL APPROACH.
3. Marx on Political Representation and the State.
What does The Eighteenth Brumaire accomplish?.
The Political Stage.
The Social Content of Politics.
The State Apparatus and Its Trajectory.
More on Political Representation.
4. Gramsci on the Geography of State Power.
Spatializing the Philosophy of Praxis.
Gramsci and the Southern Question.
Gramsci on Americanism and Fordism.
Gramsci on Territoriality and State Power.
Gramsci and International Relations.
5. Poulantzas on the State as a Social Relation.
Marxist Theory and Political Strategy.
New Methodological Considerations.
The State and Political Class Struggle.
The Relational Approach and Strategic Selectivity.
Exceptional Elements in the Contemporary State.
Periodizing the Class Struggle.
The Spatio-Temporal Matrix of the State.
6. Foucault on State, State Formation, and Statecraft.
Foucault and the “Crisis of Marxism”.
Poulantzas and Foucault compared.
The Analytics of Power versus State Theory.
Foucault as a Genealogist of Statecraft.
With Foucault beyond Foucault.
PART III APPLYING THE STRATEGIC-RELATIONAL APPROACH.
7. The Gender Selectivities of the State.
Analyzing Gender Selectivities.
Gender Selectivities in the State.
Strategic Selectivity and Strategic Action.
The Architecture of the State.
8. Spatiotemporal Dynamics and Temporal Sovereignty.
Globalization and the Spatial Turn.
Some Spatio-Temporal Contradictions of Globalizing Capitalism.
The Implications of Globalization for (National) States.
9. Multiscalar Metagovernance in the European Union.
Changes in Statehood in Advanced Capitalist Societies.
The EU as a Schumpeterian Workfare Post-National Regime.
The European Union and Multiscalar Metagovernance.
10. Complexity, Contingent Necessity, Semiosis, and the SRA.
Complexity and Contingent Necessity.
Complexity and the Selection of Selections.
Semiosis and Complexity Reduction.
Towards a New Strategic-Relational Agenda.
Original Sources of Chapters.