Revising State Theory

Essays in Politics and Postindustrialism

Fred Block
Book Cover

PB: $31.95
EAN: 978-0-87722-524-9
Publication: Sep 87

HC: $34.95
EAN: 978-0-87722-465-5
Publication: Oct 87

Ebook: $37.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-0352-0

256 pages

An analysis of the relationship between business and the state


This volume makes available in one place a complete statement of Fred Block’s perspective for students and participants in the ongoing debate on state theory. His substantial Introduction serves as an intellectual autobiography in which he assesses the field-including the theories of Domhoff, Poulantzas, and Skocpoland situates his own work within it. Block also discusses his relationship to different strands of Marxism.

In his analysis of the relationship between business and the state, Block argues that while business interests have far more influence over state policy than other constituencies, state actors still have substantial autonomy in formulating policies. In particular, the business community’s internal divisions and difficulties in assessing its own interests limit its capacity to control events. Block insists that when business influence is greatest, as during the Reagan years, state policies will be least successful in solving the society’s problems.

Table of Contents

Introduction: State Theory in Context

Part I
1. Beyond Corporate Liberalism
2. The Ruling Class Does Not Rule: Notes on the Marxist Theory of the State
3. Cooperation and Conflict in the Capitalist World Economy
4. Beyond Relative Autonomy: State Managers as Historical Subjects

Part II
5. New Productive Forces and the Contradictions of Contemporary Capitalism: A Postindustrial Perspective (with Larry Hirschhorn)
6. The Myth of Reindustrialization
7. Postindustrial Development and the Obsolescence of Economic Categories
8. Political Choice and the Multiple "Logics" of Capital


About the Author(s)

Fred Block is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania and co-author (with Richard A. Cloward, Barbara Ehrenreich, and Frances Fox Piven) of The Mean Season: The Attack on the Welfare State.