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Theories of the Democratic State

by John Dryzek, Patrick Dunleavy

Theories of the Democratic State Synopsis

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.

Theories of the Democratic State Press Reviews

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

Book Information

ISBN: 9780230542877
Publication date: 14th May 2009
Author: John Dryzek, Patrick Dunleavy
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 392 pages
Categories: Political structures: democracy, Political science & theory,

About John Dryzek, Patrick Dunleavy

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.

More About John Dryzek, Patrick Dunleavy

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