The essays in this book trace the development of Joel Migdal's "state-in-society" approach. The essays situate the approach within the classic literature in political science, sociology, and related disciplines but present a new model for understanding state-society relations. It allies parts of the state and groups in society against other such coalitions, determines how societies and states create and maintain distinct ways of structuring day-to-day life, the nature of the rules that govern people's behavior, whom they benefit and whom they disadvantage, which sorts of elements unite people and which divide them, and what shared meaning people hold about their relations with others and their place in the world.
Part I. Introduction: 1. The state-in-society approach: a new definition of the state and transcending the narrowly constructed world of Rigor; Part II. Rethinking Social and Political Change: 2. A model of state-society relations; 3. Strong states, weak states: power and accommodation; Part III. A Process-Oriented Approach - Constituting States and Societies: 4. The state in society: an approach to struggles for domination; 5. Why do so many states stay intact; Part IV. Linking Micro- and Macro-Level Change: 6. Individual change in the midst of social and political change; Part V. Studying the State: 7. Studying the politics of development and change: the state of the art; 8. Studying the state.