Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

The autonomous power of the state: its origins, mechanisms and results

Abstract

This essay tries to specify the origins, mechanisms and results of the autonomous power which the state possesses in relation to the major power groupings of ‘civil society’. The argument is couched generally, but it derives from a large, ongoing empirical research project into the development of power in human societies. At the moment, my generalisations are bolder about agrarian societies; concerning industrial societies I will be more tentative. I define the state and then pursue the implications of that definition. I discuss two essential parts of the definition, centrality and territoriality, in relation to two types of state power, termed here despotic and infrastructural power. I argue that state autonomy, of both despotic and infrastructural forms, flows principally from the state's unique ability to provide a territorially-centralised form of organization.

Copyright
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

A. Giddens , A Contemporary Critique of Historical Materialism (London, Macmillan, 1981).

O. Lattimore , Feudalism in history: a review essay, Past and Present (1957) No. 12, 4757.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

European Journal of Sociology / Archives Européennes de Sociologie
  • ISSN: 0003-9756
  • EISSN: 1474-0583
  • URL: /core/journals/european-journal-of-sociology-archives-europeennes-de-sociologie
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 731 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 3129 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 27th May 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.