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In Quite a State: the Trials and Tribulations of an Old Concept in New Times

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Chapter Summary

To account for the concept of the state one has to move along an, at its most abstract level, two-dimensional matrix with one axis denoting the historical phenomenon of that entity now called the state, and the other denoting the different theoretical paradigms through which that phenomenon has been conceived. On the theoretical axis, the concept of the state is so closely tied to the emergence of many of today's distinct social science disciplines that it would be an understatement to say that sizeable bodies of literature on the state have evolved in each of these - in truth, they are, in their very essence, conceptually premised on the state. Importantly, however, the concept of nation is not, therefore, seen as simply derivative of the state, but is conceived of as a distinct entity parallel to and, indeed, preceding the state.

Keywords: sizeable bodies; state; theoretical paradigms; two-dimensional matrix



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