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The Many Hands of the State
Theorizing Political Authority and Social Control


Kimberly J. Morgan, Ann Shola Orloff, Elisabeth Clemens, Damon Mayrl, Sarah Quinn, Armando Lara-Millán, Marion Fourcade, Mala Htun, S. Laurel Weldon, Desmond King, Robert C. Lieberman, Tianna S. Paschel, William J. Novak, Stephen W. Sawyer, James T. Sparrow, Christian Davenport, Ajay K. Mehrotra, Meyer Kestnbaum, Julia Adams, Steve Pincus, Iza Hussin, George Steinmentz
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  • Date Published: June 2017
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107135291

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About the Authors
  • The state is central to social scientific and historical inquiry today, reflecting its importance in domestic and international affairs. States kill, coerce, fight, torture, and incarcerate, yet they also nurture, protect, educate, redistribute, and invest. It is precisely because of the complexity and wide-ranging impacts of states that research on them has proliferated and diversified. Yet, too many scholars inhabit separate academic silos, and theorizing of states has become dispersed and disjointed. This book aims to bridge some of the many gaps between scholarly endeavors, bringing together scholars from a diverse array of disciplines and perspectives who study states and empires. The book offers not only a sample of cutting-edge research that can serve as models and directions for future work, but an original conceptualization and theorization of states, their origins and evolution, and their effects.

    • Provides scholars and students with a conceptual apparatus and set of questions that can guide their research
    • Allows readers to gain an overview of where research currently stands and where it could go next
    • Provides a synthetic view of a diverse scholarly literature
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This is one of the finest edited volumes I have ever had the pleasure of reading. The editors eloquently lay out the need for a new stock-taking on one of the most important concepts in the social sciences. An exemplary piece of collective scholarship.' Dan Slater, University of Chicago

    'This cornucopia offers fresh vantages, understanding, and instruction about the modern state and how it might best be studied. Grounded in an appreciative and critical appraisal of recent scholarship, its imaginative essays direct fresh considerations and deepen our analytical tool kit.' Ira I. Katznelson, Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History, Columbia University

    'The Many Hands of the State offers a cornucopia of creative new analyses of the state's role.  Ranging in scale from the historical analysis of empires to inter-agency disputes in today's Los Angeles jails, illuminating dynamics as diverse as producing black political subjects in contemporary Brazil and making Indian Muslim society legible to the British in the late 19th century, the volume gives lie to the view that the state is no longer an intellectually fertile arena for investigation. The comfortable, nicely-bounded nation state may no longer dominate debate, but these articles demonstrate the kaleidoscopic theoretical vibrancy of new conceptions and perspectives.' Peter Evans, Emeritus Professor at the Department of Sociology, University of California, Berkeley

    'The Many Hands of the State is a landmark collection. The editors have assembled an all-star cast whose incisive analyses bring the contemporary study of the state into sharp focus. Many Hands powerfully confirms the centrality of states in a globalizing world.' Margaret Weir, Brown University

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2017
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107135291
    • length: 426 pages
    • dimensions: 236 x 159 x 28 mm
    • weight: 0.72kg
    • contains: 12 b/w illus. 3 maps
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction Kimberly J. Morgan and Ann Shola Orloff
    Part I. Locating the State: The Problem of Boundaries:
    1. Reconciling equal treatment with respect for individuality: associations in the symbiotic state Elisabeth Clemens
    2. Beyond the hidden American state: rethinking government visibility Damon Mayrl and Sarah Quinn
    3. States as a series of people exchanges Armando Lara-Millán
    4. State metrology: the rating of sovereigns and the judgment of nations Marion Fourcade
    Part II. Stratification and the Transformation of States:
    5. Gendered states made and remade: gendered labor policies in the US and Sweden, 1960–2010 Ann Shola Orloff
    6. States and gender justice Mala Htun and S. Laurel Weldon
    7. The civil rights states: how the American state develops itself Desmond King and Robert C. Lieberman
    8. Disaggregating the racial state: activists, diplomats and the partial shift toward racial equality in Brazil Tianna S. Paschel
    Part III. Developing the Sinews of Power:
    9. Democratic states of unexception: towards a new genealogy of the American political William J. Novak, Stephen W. Sawyer and James T. Sparrow
    10. Performing order: an examination of the seemingly impossible task of subjugating large numbers of people, everywhere, all the time Christian Davenport
    11. Fiscal forearms: taxation as the lifeblood of the modern liberal state Ajay K. Mehrotra
    12. Unexpected adversaries: the state and the revolution in war Meyer Kestnbaum
    Part IV. States and Empires: The Transnational/Global Turn:
    13. Imperial states and the age of discovery in transition(s) to modernity Julia Adams and Steve Pincus
    14. Making legibility between colony and empire: translation, conflation, and the making of the Muslim state Iza Hussin
    15. The octopus and the Hekatonkheire: on many-armed states and tentacular empires George Steinmentz.

  • Editors

    Kimberly J. Morgan, George Washington University, Washington DC
    Kimberly J. Morgan is Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at George Washington University, Washington DC. She received her PhD in political science from Princeton University, New Jersey and has been a fellow at New York University's Institute of French Studies, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Scholars in Health Policy Research program at Yale University, Connecticut, and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Dr Morgan is the author of two books, Working Mothers and the Welfare State: Religion and the Politics of Work-Family Policy in Western Europe and the United States (2006) and The Delegated Welfare State: Medicare, Markets, and the Governance of Social Policy (with Andrea Louise Campbell, 2011), and is co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of US Social Policy (2014).

    Ann Shola Orloff, Northwestern University, Illinois
    Ann Orloff is Professor of Sociology and Political Science, and Board of Lady Managers of the Columbian Exposition Chair at Northwestern University, Illinois. She received her PhD from Princeton University, New Jersey and her BA from Harvard University, Massachusetts. Orloff is the co-editor of Remaking Modernity: Politics, History and Sociology (with Julia Adams and Elisabeth Clemens, 2005) and the author of States, Markets, Families: Gender, Liberalism and Social Policy in Australia, Canada, Great Britain and the United States (with Julia O'Connor and Sheila Shaver, 1999). Orloff co-founded Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State and Society and is past president of the Social Science History Association. She has held visiting positions at the European University Institute (Florence, Italy), Sciences Po (Paris), and the Australian National University, Canberra; she has held fellowships from the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, the Russell Sage Foundation, the German Marshall Fund, the American Council of Learned Societies and the American Association of University Women.


    Kimberly J. Morgan, Ann Shola Orloff, Elisabeth Clemens, Damon Mayrl, Sarah Quinn, Armando Lara-Millán, Marion Fourcade, Mala Htun, S. Laurel Weldon, Desmond King, Robert C. Lieberman, Tianna S. Paschel, William J. Novak, Stephen W. Sawyer, James T. Sparrow, Christian Davenport, Ajay K. Mehrotra, Meyer Kestnbaum, Julia Adams, Steve Pincus, Iza Hussin, George Steinmentz

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