The state has been a dominant political form, and the preferred model of political unity , for at least the last two centuries. However, many today speak of its crisis, which stems from two main factors: the state’s changing role in the globalizing international system and the state’s complex relation to democracy, a key normative concept of contemporary politics. Authoritarian leaders use the state to successfully reaffirm sovereignty, despite international integration; democratic movements abound but often serve only to reinforce the regimes they contest. Is there an alternative? Do we need to reconceive the phenomenon of state, with a view to the future?
These are the questions that an international group of scholars explores and answers in this groundbreaking book, drawing on the history of political thought, continental philosophy, and contemporary political examples. They engage the dialectical tradition broadly understood, including phenomenological transcendentalism, the political philosophy of French public law, and German twentieth-century political philosophy beyond Weber. The result brings the state into a critical political philosophy, providing a realistic model of what a good democratic state could and should be like.
Artemy Magun is professor of philosophy and director of the Center for Practical Philosophy at the European University at Saint Petersburg. He is the editor of the journal Stasis.
State theory is back. This exciting collection of essays from an international group of brilliant young scholars resets the terms of debate over the state, its functions, legitimacy, and subjectivity. Given the contemporary emergence of a paradoxical and contradictory global national democratic welfare deregulationist state, can the Left develop an affirmative account of the state? Or is it stuck in the fantasy of its withering away? The contributors to this volume don't agree on the answers. They demonstrate why these are the questions to be asked now.
The Future of the State is exactly the book we need at a moment when people are afraid of state apparatuses that register and control all our activities, and when at the same time the pandemic has made us aware of how important a well-functioning state is. It is an essential read for everyone who wants a clear picture of the mess we are in.