A state is an organized community living under one government. States may be sovereign. The term state is also applied to federated states that are members of a federal union, which is the sovereign state. Some states are subject to external sovereignty or hegemony where ultimate sovereignty lies in another state. The state can also be used to refer to the secular branches of government within a state, often as a manner of contrasting them with churches and civilian institutions.
Many human societies have been governed by states for millennia, however for most of pre-history people lived in stateless societies. The first states arose about 5,500 years ago in conjunction with rapid growth of cities, invention of writing, and codification of new forms of religion. Over time, a variety of different forms developed, employing a variety of justifications for their existence (such as divine right, the theory of the social contract, etc.). Today, however, the modern nation-state is the predominant form of state to which people are subject.
- 1 Definitional issues
- 2 Theories of state function
- 3 Theories of state legitimacy
- 4 Etymology
- 5 History
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 Further reading
There is no academic consensus on the most appropriate definition of the state. The term "state" refers to a set of different, but interrelated and often overlapping, theories about a certain range of political phenomena. The act of defining the term can be seen as part of an ideological conflict, because different definitions lead to different theories of state function, and as a result validate different political strategies. And according to Jeffrey & Painter, "if we define the 'essence' of the state in one place or era, we are liable to find that in another time or space something which is also understood to be a state has different 'essential' characteristics" 
The most commonly used definition is Max Weber's, which describes the state as a compulsory political organization with a centralized government that maintains a monopoly of the legitimate use of force within a certain territory. General categories of state institutions include administrative bureaucracies, legal systems, and military or religious organizations.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a state is "a an organized political community under one government; a commonwealth; a nation. b such a community forming part of a federal republic, esp the United States of America".
Confounding the definitional problem is that "state" and "government" are often used as synonyms in common conversation and even some academic discourse. According to this definitional schema, the states are nonphysical persons of international law, governments are organizations of people. The relationship between a government and its state is one of representation and authorized agency.
Types of states
States may be classified as sovereign if they are not dependent on, or subject to any other power or state. Other states are subject to external sovereignty or hegemony where ultimate sovereignty lies in another state. Many states are federated states which participate in a federal union. A federated state is a territorial and constitutional community forming part of a federation. Such states differ from sovereign states, in that they have transferred a portion of their sovereign powers to a federal government.
The state and government
A state can be distinguished from a government. The government is the particular group of people, the administrative bureaucracy, that controls the state apparatus at a given time. That is, governments are the means through which state power is employed. States are served by a continuous succession of different governments. States as immaterial and nonphysical social objects, whereas governments are groups of people with certain coercive powers.
Each successive government is composed of a specialized and privileged body of individuals, who monopolize political decision-making, and are separated by status and organization from the population as a whole. Their function is to enforce existing laws, legislate new ones, and arbitrate conflicts. In some societies, this group is often a self-perpetuating or hereditary class. In other societies, such as democracies, the political roles remain, but there is frequent turnover of the people actually filling the positions.
States and nation-states
The state and civil society
In the classical thought the state was identified with both political society and civil society as a form of political community, while the modern thought distinguished the nation state as a political society from civil society as a form of economic society. Thus in the modern thought the state is contrasted with civil society.
The man versus the state
Antonio Gramsci believed that civil society is the primary locus of political activity because it is where all forms of "identity formation, ideological struggle, the activities of intellectuals, and the construction of hegemony take place." and that civil society was the nexus connecting the economic and political sphere. Arising out of the collective actions of civil society is what Gramsci calls "political society", which Gramsci differentiates from the notion of the state as a polity. He stated that politics was not a "one-way process of political management" but, rather, that the activities of civil organizations conditioned the activities of political parties and state institutions, and were conditioned by them in turn. Louis Althusser argued that civil organizations such as church, schools, and the family are part of an "ideological state apparatus" which complements the "repressive state apparatus" (such as police and military) in reproducing social relations.
Given the role that many social groups have in the development of public policy and the extensive connections between state bureaucracies and other institutions, it has become increasingly difficult to identify the boundaries of the state. Privatization, nationalization, and the creation of new regulatory bodies also change the boundaries of the state in relation to society. Often the nature of quasi-autonomous organizations is unclear, generating debate among political scientists on whether they are part of the state or civil society. Some political scientists thus prefer to speak of policy networks and decentralized governance in modern societies rather than of state bureaucracies and direct state control over policy.
Theories of state function
Most political theories of the state can roughly be classified into two categories. The first are known as "liberal" or "conservative" theories, which treat capitalism as a given, and then concentrate on the function of states in capitalist society. These theories tend to see the state as a neutral entity separated from society and the economy. Marxist theories on the other hand, see politics as intimately tied in with economic relations, and emphasize the relation between economic power and political power. They see the state as a partisan instrument that primarily serves the interests of the upper class.
Anarchists believe that the state is inherently an instrument of domination and repression, no matter who is in control of it. Anarchists note that the state possesses the monopoly on the legal use of violence. Unlike Marxists, anarchists believe that revolutionary seizure of state power should not be a political goal. They believe instead that the state apparatus should be completely dismantled, and an alternative set of social relations created, which are not based on state power at all.
Marx and Engels were clear in that the communist goal was a classless society in which the state would have "withered away". Their views are scattered throughout the Marx/Engels Collected Works and address past or the then extant state forms from an analytical or tactical viewpoint, not future social forms, speculation about which is generally anathema to groups considering themselves Marxist but who, not having conquered the existing state power(s) are not in the situation of supplying the institutional form of an actual society. To the extent that it makes sense, there is no single "Marxist theory of state", but rather many different "Marxist" theories that have been developed by adherents of Marxism.
Marx's early writings portrayed the state as "parasitic", built upon the superstructure of the economy, and working against the public interest. He also wrote that the state mirrors class relations in society in general, acts as a regulator and repressor of class struggle, and acts as a tool of political power and domination for the ruling class. The Communist Manifesto claimed that the state is nothing more than "a committee for managing the common affairs of the bourgeoisie.
For Marxist theorists, the role of the non-socialist state is determined by its function in the global capitalist order. Ralph Miliband argued that the ruling class uses the state as its instrument to dominate society by virtue of the interpersonal ties between state officials and economic elites. For Miliband, the state is dominated by an elite that comes from the same background as the capitalist class. State officials therefore share the same interests as owners of capital and are linked to them through a wide array of social, economic, and political ties.
Gramsci's theories of state emphasized that the state is only one of the institutions in society that helps maintain the hegemony of the ruling class, and that state power is bolstered by the ideological domination of the institutions of civil society, such as churches, schools, and mass media.
Pluralists view society as a collection of individuals and groups, who are competing for political power. They then view the state as a neutral body that simply enacts the will of whichever groups dominate the electoral process. Within the pluralist tradition, Robert Dahl developed the theory of the state as a neutral arena for contending interests or its agencies as simply another set of interest groups. With power competitively arranged in society, state policy is a product of recurrent bargaining. Although pluralism recognizes the existence of inequality, it asserts that all groups have an opportunity to pressure the state. The pluralist approach suggests that the modern democratic state's actions are the result of pressures applied by a variety of organized interests. Dahl called this kind of state a polyarchy.
Pluralism has been challenged on the ground that it is not supported by empirical evidence. Citing surveys showing that the large majority of people in high leadership positions are members of the wealthy upper class, critics of pluralism claim that the state serves the interests of the upper class rather than equitably serving the interests of all social groups.
Contemporary critical perspectives
Jürgen Habermas believed that the base-superstructure framework, used by many Marxist theorists to describe the relation between the state and the economy, was overly simplistic. He felt that the modern state plays a large role in structuring the economy, by regulating economic activity and being a large-scale economic consumer/producer, and through its redistributive welfare state activities. Because of the way these activities structure the economic framework, Habermas felt that the state cannot be looked at as passively responding to economic class interests.
Michel Foucault believed that modern political theory was too state-centric, saying "Maybe, after all, the state is no more than a composite reality and a mythologized abstraction, whose importance is a lot more limited than many of us think." He thought that political theory was focusing too much on abstract institutions, and not enough on the actual practices of government. In Foucault's opinion, the state had no essence. He believed that instead of trying to understand the activities of governments by analyzing the properties of the state (a reified abstraction), political theorists should be examining changes in the practice of government to understand changes in the nature of the state.
Heavily influenced by Gramsci, Nicos Poulantzas, a Greek neo-Marxist theorist argued that capitalist states do not always act on behalf of the ruling class, and when they do, it is not necessarily the case because state officials consciously strive to do so, but because the 'structural' position of the state is configured in such a way to ensure that the long-term interests of capital are always dominant. Poulantzas' main contribution to the Marxist literature on the state was the concept of 'relative autonomy' of the state. While Poulantzas' work on 'state autonomy' has served to sharpen and specify a great deal of Marxist literature on the state, his own framework came under criticism for its 'structural functionalism.'
State autonomy (institutionalism)
State autonomy theorists believe that the state is an entity that is impervious to external social and economic influence, and has interests of its own.
"New institutionalist" writings on the state, such as the works of Theda Skocpol, suggest that state actors are to an important degree autonomous. In other words, state personnel have interests of their own, which they can and do pursue independently of (at times in conflict with) actors in society. Since the state controls the means of coercion, and given the dependence of many groups in civil society on the state for achieving any goals they may espouse, state personnel can to some extent impose their own preferences on civil society.
G. William Domhoff claims that "The idea of the American state having any significant degree of autonomy from the owners and managers of banks, corporations, and agribusinesses is a theoretical mistake based in empirical inaccuracies," and cites empirical studies showing a high degree of overlap between upper-level corporate management and high-level positions in government.
Theories of state legitimacy
The rise of the modern state system was closely related to changes in political thought, especially concerning the changing understanding of legitimate state power. Early modern defenders of absolutism such as Thomas Hobbes and Jean Bodin undermined the doctrine of the divine right of kings by arguing that the power of kings should be justified by reference to the people. Hobbes in particular went further and argued that political power should be justified with reference to the individual, not just to the people understood collectively. Both Hobbes and Bodin thought they were defending the power of kings, not advocating democracy, but their arguments about the nature of sovereignty were fiercely resisted by more traditional defenders of the power of kings, like Sir Robert Filmer in England, who thought that such defenses ultimately opened the way to more democratic claims.
Max Weber identified three main sources of political legitimacy in his works. The first, legitimacy based on traditional grounds is derived from a belief that things should be as they have been in the past, and that those who defend these traditions have a legitimate claim to power. The second, legitimacy based on charismatic leadership is devotion to a leader or group that is viewed as exceptionally heroic or virtuous. The third is rational-legal authority, whereby legitimacy is derived from the belief that a certain group has been placed in power in a legal manner, and that their actions are justifiable according to a specific code of written laws. Weber believed that the modern state is characterized primarily by appeals to rational-legal authority.
The word state and its cognates in some other European languages (stato in Italian, estado in Spanish, état in French, Staat in German) ultimately derive from the Latin word status, meaning "condition" or "status."
With the revival of the Roman law in 14th-century Europe, this Latin term came to refer to the legal standing of persons (such as the various "estates of the realm" - noble, common, and clerical), and in particular the special status of the king. The word also had associations with Roman ideas (dating back to Cicero) about the "status rei publicae", the "condition of public matters". In time, the word lost its reference to particular social groups and became associated with the legal order of the entire society and the apparatus of its enforcement.
In English, "state" came about as a contraction of the word "estate", which is similar to the old French estat and the modern French état, both of which signify that a person has status and therefore estate. The highest estates, generally those with the most wealth and social rank, were those that held power.
The earliest forms of the state emerged whenever it became possible to centralize power in a durable way. Agriculture and writing are almost everywhere associated with this process: agriculture because it allowed for the emergence of a class of people who did not have to spend most of their time providing for their own subsistence, and writing (or the equivalent of writing, like Inca quipus) because it made possible the centralization of vital information.
The first known states were created in Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, India, China, the Inca civilization, and others, but it is only in relatively modern times that states have almost completely displaced alternative "stateless" forms of political organization of societies all over the planet. Roving bands of hunter-gatherers and even fairly sizable and complex tribal societies based on herding or agriculture have existed without any full-time specialized state organization, and these "stateless" forms of political organization have in fact prevailed for all of the prehistory and much of the history of the human species and civilization.
Initially states emerged over territories built by conquest in which one culture, one set of ideals and one set of laws have been imposed by force or threat over diverse nations by a civilian and military bureaucracy. Currently, that is not always the case and there are multinational states, federated states and autonomous areas within states.
Since the late 19th century, virtually the entirety of the world's inhabitable land has been parcelled up into areas with more or less definite borders claimed by various states. Earlier, quite large land areas had been either unclaimed or uninhabited, or inhabited by nomadic peoples who were not organised as states. However, even within present-day states there are vast areas of wilderness, like the Amazon Rainforest, which are uninhabited or inhabited solely or mostly by indigenous people (and some of them remain uncontacted). Also, there are states which do not hold de facto control over all of their claimed territory or where this control is challenged. Currently the international community comprises around 200 sovereign states, the vast majority of which are represented in the United Nations.
Pre-historic stateless societies
The anthropologist Tim Ingold writes:
It is not enough to observe, in a now rather dated anthropological idiom, that hunter gatherers live in 'stateless societies', as though their social lives were somehow lacking or unfinished, waiting to be completed by the evolutionary development of a state apparatus. Rather, the principal of their socialty, as Pierre Clastres has put it, is fundamentally against the state.
The Neolithic period
During the Neolithic period, human societies underwent major cultural and economic changes, including the development of agriculture, the formation of sedentary societies and fixed settlements, increasing population densities, and the use of pottery and more complex tools.
Sedentary agriculture led to the development of property rights, domestication of plants and animals, and larger family sizes. It also provided the basis for the centralized state form by producing a large surplus of food, which created a more complex division of labor by enabling people to specialize in tasks other than food production. Early states were characterized by highly stratified societies, with a privileged and wealthy ruling class that was subordinate to a monarch. The ruling classes began to differentiate themselves through forms of architecture and other cultural practices that were different from those of the subordinate laboring classes.
In the past, it was suggested that the centralized state was developed to administer large public works systems (such as irrigation systems) and to regulate complex economies. However, modern archaeological and anthropological evidence does not support this thesis, pointing to the existence of several non-stratified and politically decentralized complex societies.
The state in ancient Eurasia
Mesopotamia is generally considered to be the location of the earliest civilization or complex society, meaning that it contained cities, full-time division of labor, social concentration of wealth into capital, unequal distribution of wealth, ruling classes, community ties based on residency rather than kinship, long distance trade, monumental architecture, standardized forms of art and culture, writing, and mathematics and science. It was the world's first literate civilization, and formed the first sets of written laws.
The state in classical antiquity
Although primitive state-forms existed before the rise of the Ancient Greek empire, the Greeks were the first people known to have explicitly formulated a political philosophy of the state, and to have rationally analyzed political institutions. Prior to this, states were described and justified in terms of religious myths.
Several important political innovations of classical antiquity came from the Greek city-states and the Roman Republic. The Greek city-states before the 4th century granted citizenship rights to their free population, and in Athens these rights were combined with a directly democratic form of government that was to have a long afterlife in political thought and history.
The Feudal state
During Medieval times in Europe, the state was organized on the principle of feudalism, and the relationship between lord and vassal became central to social organization. Feudalism led to the development of greater social hierarchies.
The formalization of the struggles over taxation between the monarch and other elements of society (especially the nobility and the cities) gave rise to what is now called the Standestaat, or the state of Estates, characterized by parliaments in which key social groups negotiated with the king about legal and economic matters. These estates of the realm sometimes evolved in the direction of fully-fledged parliaments, but sometimes lost out in their struggles with the monarch, leading to greater centralization of lawmaking and military power in his hands. Beginning in the 15th century, this centralizing process gives rise to the absolutist state.
The modern state
Cultural and national homogenization figured prominently in the rise of the modern state system. Since the absolutist period, states have largely been organized on a national basis. The concept of a national state, however, is not synonymous with nation state. Even in the most ethnically homogeneous societies there is not always a complete correspondence between state and nation, hence the active role often taken by the state to promote nationalism through emphasis on shared symbols and national identity.
- "state". Concise Oxford English Dictionary (9th ed.). Oxford University Press. 1995.
- For example the Vichy France (1940-1944) officially referred to itself as l'État français.
- Cudworth et al., 2007: p. 1
- Barrow, 1993: pp. 9-10
- Barrow, 1993: pp. 10-11
- Painter, Joe; Jeffrey, Alex (2009). Political Geography (2nd Edition ed.). London: SAGE Publications Ltd. p. 21. ISBN 978-1-4129-0138-3.
- Dubreuil, Benoít (2010). Human Evolution and the Origins of Hierarchies: The State of Nature. Cambridge University Press. p. 189. ISBN 978-0-521-76948-8.
- Gordon, Scott (2002). Controlling the State: Constitutionalism from Ancient Athens to Today. Harvard University Press. p. 4. ISBN 978-0-674-00977-6.
- Hay, Colin (2001). Routledge Encyclopedia of International Political Economy. New York, NY: Routledge. pp. 1469–1474. ISBN 0-415-14532-5.
- Donovan, John C. (1993). People, power, and politics: an introduction to political science. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 20. ISBN 978-0-8226-3025-8.
- Shaw, Martin (2003). War and genocide: organized killing in modern society. Wiley-Blackwell. p. 59. ISBN 978-0-7456-1907-1.
- Cudworth et al., 2007: p. 95
- Salmon, 2008: p. 54
- Earle, Timothy (1997). "State, State Systems". In Barfield, Thomas. The Dictionary of Anthropology. Wiley-Blackwell. p. 445. ISBN 978-1-57718-057-9.
- Robinson, E. H. 2013. The Distinction Between State and Government. The Geography Compass 7(8): pp. 556-566.
- Crawford, J. (2007) The Creation of States in International Law. Oxford University Press.
- "sovereign", The New Oxford American Dictionary (2nd ed.) (Oxford: Oxford University Press), 2005, ISBN 0-19-517077-6,
adjective ... [ attrib. ] (of a nation or state) fully independent and determining its own affairs: a sovereign, democratic republic.
- The Australian National Dictionary: Fourth Edition, pg 1395. (2004) Canberra. ISBN 0-19-551771-7.
- Bealey, Frank, ed. (1999). "government". The Blackwell dictionary of political science: a user's guide to its terms. Wiley-Blackwell. p. 147. ISBN 978-0-631-20695-8.
- Sartwell, 2008: p. 25
- Flint & Taylor, 2007: p. 137
- Robinson, E. H. 2013. The Distinction Between State and Government. The Geography Compass 7(8): pp. 556-566.
- Barclay, Harold (1990). People Without Government: An Anthropology of Anarchy. Left Bank Books. p. 31. ISBN 1-871082-16-1.
- Sartwell, 2008: p. 24
- Zaleski, Pawel (2008). "Tocqueville on Civilian Society. A Romantic Vision of the Dichotomic Structure of Social Reality". Archiv für Begriffsgeschichte (Felix Meiner Verlag) 50.
- Ehrenberg, John (1999). "Civil Society and the State". Civil society: the critical history of an idea. NYU Press. ISBN 978-0-8147-2207-7.
- Kaviraj, Sudipta (2001). "In search of civil society". In Kaviraj, Sudipta & Khilnani, Sunil. Civil society: history and possibilities. Cambridge University Press. pp. 291–293. ISBN 978-0-521-00290-5.
- Reeve, Andrew (2001). "Civil society". In Jones, R.J. Barry. Routledge Encyclopedia of International Political Economy: Entries P-Z. Taylor & Francis. pp. 158–160. ISBN 978-0-415-24352-0.
- Sassoon, Anne Showstack (2000). Gramsci and contemporary politics: beyond pessimism of the intellect. Psychology Press. p. 70. ISBN 978-0-415-16214-2.
- Augelli, Enrico & Murphy, Craig N. (1993). "Gramsci and international relations: a general perspective with examples from recent US policy towards the Third World". In Gill, Stephen. Gramsci, historical materialism and international relations. Cambridge University Press. p. 129. ISBN 978-0-521-43523-9.
- Ferretter, Luke (2006). Louis Althusser. Taylor & Francis. p. 85. ISBN 978-0-415-32731-2.
- Flecha, Ramon (2009). "The Educative City and Critical Education". In Apple, Michael W. et al. The Routledge international handbook of critical education. Taylor & Francis. p. 330. ISBN 978-0-415-95861-5.
- Malešević, 2002: p. 16
- Morrow, Raymond Allen & Torres, Carlos Alberto (2002). Reading Freire and Habermas: critical pedagogy and transformative social change. Teacher's College Press. p. 77. ISBN 978-0-8077-4202-0.
- Kjaer, Anne Mette (2004). Governance. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-0-7456-2979-7. --[page needed]
- Newman, Saul (2010). The Politics of Postanarchism. Edinburgh University Press. p. 109. ISBN 978-0-7486-3495-8.
- Roussopoulos, Dimitrios I. (1973). The political economy of the state: Québec, Canada, U.S.A.. Black Rose Books. p. 8. ISBN 978-0-919618-01-5.
- Christoyannopoulos, Alexandre (2010). Christian Anarchism: A Political Commentary on the Gospel. Exeter: Imprint Academic. pp. 123–126.
- Ellul, Jacques (1988). Anarchy and Christianity. Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans. pp. 71–74.
The first beast comes up from the sea...It is given 'all authority and power over every tribe, every people, every tongue, and every nation' (13:7). All who dwell on earth worship it. Political power could hardly, I think, be more expressly described, for it is this power which has authority, which controls military force, and which compels adoration (i.e., absolute obedience).
- Frederick Engels - Socialism: Utopian and Scientific. 1880 Full Text. From Historical Materialism: "State interference in social relations becomes, in one domain after another, superfluous, and then dies out of itself; the government of persons is replaced by the administration of things, and by the conduct of processes of production. The State is not "abolished". It dies out...Socialized production upon a predetermined plan becomes henceforth possible. The development of production makes the existence of different classes of society thenceforth an anachronism. In proportion as anarchy in social production vanishes, the political authority of the State dies out. Man, at last the master of his own form of social organization, becomes at the same time the lord over Nature, his own master — free."
- Flint & Taylor, 2007: p. 139
- Joseph, 2004: p. 15
- Barrow, 1993: p. 4
- Smith, Mark J. (2000). Rethinking state theory. Psychology Press. p. 176. ISBN 978-0-415-20892-5.
- Miliband, Ralph. 1983. Class power and state power. London: Verso.
- Joseph, 2004: p. 44
- Vincent, 1992: pp. 47-48
- Dahl, Robert (1973). Modern Political Analysis. Prentice Hall. p. [page needed]. ISBN 0-13-596981-6.
- Cunningham, Frank (2002). Theories of democracy: a critical introduction. Psychology Press. pp. 86–87. ISBN 978-0-415-22879-4.
- Zweigenhaft, Richard L. & Domhoff, G. William (2006). Diversity in the power elite: how it happened, why it matters (2nd ed.). Rowman & Littlefield. p. 4. ISBN 978-0-7425-3699-9.
- Duncan, Graeme Campbell (1989). Democracy and the capitalist state. Cambridge University Press. p. 137. ISBN 978-0-521-28062-4.
- Edgar, Andrew (2005). The philosophy of Habermas. McGill-Queen's Press. pp. 5–6; 44. ISBN 978-0-7735-2783-6.
- Cook, Deborah (2004). Adorno, Habermas, and the search for a rational society. Psychology Press. p. 20. ISBN 978-0-415-33479-2.
- Melossi, Dario (2006). "Michel Foucault and the Obsolescent State". In Beaulieu, Alain & Gabbard, David. Michel Foucault and power today: international multidisciplinary studies in the history of the present. Lexington Books. p. 6. ISBN 978-0-7391-1324-0.
- Gordon, Colin (1991). "Government rationality: an introduction". In Foucault, Michel et al. The Foucault effect: studies in governmentality. University of Chicago Press. p. 4. ISBN 978-0-226-08045-1.
- Mitchell, Timothy (2006). "Society, Economy, and the State Effect". In Sharma, Aradhana & Gupta, Akhil. The anthropology of the state: a reader. Wiley-Blackwell. p. 179. ISBN 978-1-4051-1467-7.
- Sklair, Leslie (2004). "Globalizing class theory". In Sinclair, Timothy. Global governance: critical concepts in political science. Taylor & Francis. pp. 139–140. ISBN 978-0-415-27665-8.
- Rueschemeyer, Skocpol, and Evans, 1985:[page needed]
- Sklair, Leslie (2001). The transnational capitalist class. Wiley-Blackwell. p. 12. ISBN 978-0-631-22462-4.
- Vincent, 1992: p. 43
- Malešević, 2002: p. 85
- Dogan, 1992: pp. 119-120
- Wallerstein, Immanuel (1999). The end of the world as we know it: social science for the twenty-first century. University of Minnesota Press. p. 228. ISBN 978-0-8166-3398-2.
- Collins, Randall (1986). Weberian Sociological Theory. Cambridge University Press. p. 158. ISBN 978-0-521-31426-8.
- Swedberg, Richard & Agevall, Ola (2005). The Max Weber dictionary: key words and central concepts. Stanford University Press. p. 148. ISBN 978-0-8047-5095-0.
- Hay, 2001: p. 1469
- Skinner, 1989:[page needed]
- Bobbio, 1989: pp.57-58
- Giddens, Anthony. 1987. Contemporary Critique of Historical Materialism. 3 vols. Vol. II: The Nation-State and Violence. Cambridge: Polity Press. ISBN 0-520-06039-3. See chapter 2.
- klaus kästle. "Countries of the World". Nationsonline.org. Retrieved 2013-02-20.
- Ingold, Tim (1999). "On the social relations of the hunter-gatherer band". In Lee, Richard B. & Daly, Richard Heywood. The Cambridge encyclopedia of hunters and gatherers. Cambridge University Press. p. 408. ISBN 978-0-521-57109-8.
- Shaw, Ian & Jameson, Robert (2002). "Neolithic". A dictionary of archaeology (6th ed.). Wiley-Blackwell. p. 423. ISBN 978-0-631-23583-5.
- Hassan, F.A. (2007). "The Lie of History: Nation-States and the Contradictions of Complex Societies". In Costanza, Robert et al. Sustainability or collapse?: an integrated history and future of people on earth. MIT Press. p. 186. ISBN 978-0-262-03366-4.
- Scott, 2009: p. 29
- Langer, Erick D. & Stearns, Peter N. (1994). "Agricultural systems". In Stearns, Peter N. Encyclopedia of social history. Taylor & Francis. p. 28. ISBN 978-0-8153-0342-8.
- Cohen, Ronald (1978). "State Origins: A Reappraisal". The Early State. Walter de Gruyter. p. 36. ISBN 978-90-279-7904-9.
- Roosevelt, Anna C. (1999). "The Maritime, Highland, Forest Dynamic and the Origins of Complex Culture". In Salomon, Frank & Schwartz, Stuart B. Cambridge history of the Native peoples of the Americas: South America, Volume 3. Cambridge University Press. pp. 266–267. ISBN 978-0-521-63075-7.
- Mann, Michael (1986). "The emergence of stratification, states, and multi-power-actor civilization in Mesopotamia". The sources of social power: A history of power from the beginning to A. D. 1760, Volume 1. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-31349-0.
- Yoffee, Norman (1988). "Context and Authority in Early Mesopotamian Law". In Cohen, Ronald & Toland, Judith D. State formation and political legitimacy. Transaction Publishers. p. 95. ISBN 978-0-88738-161-4.
- Yoffee, Norman (2005). Myths of the archaic state: evolution of the earliest cities, states and civilizations. Cambridge University Press. p. 102. ISBN 978-0-521-81837-7.
- Nelson, 2006: p. 17
- Jones, Rhys (2007). People/states/territories: the political geographies of British state transformation. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 52–53. ISBN 978-1-4051-4033-1. ... see also pp. 54-... where Jones discusses problems with common conceptions of feudalism.
- Poggi, G. 1978. The Development of the Modern State: A Sociological Introduction. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
- Breuilly, John. 1993. Nationalism and the State. New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN SBN0719038006.
- Barrow, Clyde W. (1993). Critical Theories of State: Marxist, Neo-Marxist, Post-Marxist. University of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 0-299-13714-7.
- Bobbio, Norberto (1989). Democracy and Dictatorship: The Nature and Limits of State Power. University of Minnesota Press. ISBN 0-8166-1813-5.
- Cudworth, Erika (2007). The Modern State: Theories and Ideologies. Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 978-0-7486-2176-7.
- Dogan, Mattei (1992). "Conceptions of Legitimacy". In Paynter, John et al. Encyclopedia of government and politics. Psychology Press. ISBN 978-0-415-07224-3.
- Flint, Colin & Taylor, Peter (2007). Political Geography: World Economy, Nation-State, and Locality (5th ed.). Pearson/Prentice Hall. ISBN 978-0-13-196012-1.
- Hay, Colin (2001). "State theory". In Jones, R.J. Barry. Routledge Encyclopedia of International Political Economy: Entries P-Z. Taylor & Francis. pp. 1469–1475. ISBN 978-0-415-24352-0.
- Joseph, Jonathan (2004). Social theory: an introduction. NYU Press. ISBN 978-0-8147-4277-8.
- Malešević, Siniša (2002). Ideology, legitimacy and the new state: Yugoslavia, Serbia and Croatia. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-7146-5215-3.
- Nelson, Brian T. (2006). The making of the modern state: a theoretical evolution. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-1-4039-7189-0.
- Rueschemeyer, Dietrich; Skocpol, Theda; Evans, Peter B. (1985). Bringing the State Back In. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-31313-9.
- Salmon, Trevor C. (2008). Issues in international relations. Taylor & Francis US. ISBN 978-0-415-43126-2.
- Sartwell, Crispin (2008). Against the state: an introduction to anarchist political theory. SUNY Press. ISBN 978-0-7914-7447-1.
- Scott, James C. (2009). The art of not being governed: an anarchist history of upland Southeast Asia. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-15228-9.
- Skinner, Quentin (1989). "The state". In Ball, T; Farr, J.; and Hanson, R.L. Political Innovation and Conceptual Change. Cambridge University Press. pp. 90–131. ISBN 0-521-35978-3.
- Vincent, Andrew (1992). "Conceptions of the State". In Paynter, John et al. Encyclopedia of government and politics. Psychology Press. ISBN 978-0-415-07224-3.
- Barrow, Clyde W. (2002). "The Miliband-Poulantzas Debate: An Intellectual History". In Aronowitz, Stanley & Bratsis, Peter. Paradigm lost: state theory reconsidered. University of Minnesota Press. ISBN 978-0-8166-3293-0.
- Bottomore, T. B., ed. (1991). "The State". A Dictionary of Marxist thought (2nd ed.). Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-0-631-18082-1.
- Bratsis, Peter (2006). Everyday Life and the State. Paradigm. ISBN 978-1-59451-219-3.
- Faulks, Keith (2000). "Classical Theories of the State and Civil Society". Political sociology: a critical introduction. NYU Press. ISBN 978-0-8147-2709-6.
- Feldbrugge, Ferdinand J. M., ed. (2003). The law's beginning. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. ISBN 978-90-04-13705-9.
- Fisk, Milton (1989). The state and justice: an essay in political theory. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-38966-2.
- Friedeburg, Robert von (2011). State Forms and State Systems in Modern Europe. Institute of European History,.
- Green, Penny & Ward, Tony (2009). "Violence and the State". In Coleman, Roy et al. State, Power, Crime. SAGE. ISBN 978-1-4129-4805-0.
- Hall, John A., ed. (1994). The state: critical concepts (Vol. 1 & 2). Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-0-415-08683-7.
- Hansen, Thomas Blom & Stepputat, Finn, ed. (2001). States of imagination: ethnographic explorations of the postcolonial state. Duke University Press. ISBN 978-0-8223-2798-1.
- Hoffman, John (1995). Beyond the state: an introductory critique. Polity Press. ISBN 978-0-7456-1181-5.
- Hoffman, John (2004). Citizenship beyond the state. SAGE. ISBN 978-0-7619-4942-8.
- Jessop, Bob (1990). State theory: putting the Capitalist state in its place. Penn State Press. ISBN 978-0-271-00735-9.
- Jessop, Bob (2009). "Redesigning the State, Reorienting State Power, and Rethinking the State". In Leicht, Kevin T. & Jenkins, J. Craig. Handbook of Politics: State and Society in Global Perspective. Springer. ISBN 978-0-387-68929-6.
- Lefebvre, Henri (2009). Brenner, Neil & Elden, Stuart, ed. State, space, world: selected essays. University of Minnesota Press. ISBN 978-0-8166-5317-1.
- Long, Roderick T. & Machan, Tibor R. (2008). Anarchism/minarchism: is a government part of a free country?. Ashgate Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7546-6066-8.
- Mann, Michael (1994). "The Autonomous Power of the State: Its Origins, Mechanisms, and Results". In Hall, John A. The State: critical concepts, Volume 1. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-0-415-08680-6.
- Oppenheimer, Franz (1975). The state. Black Rose Books. ISBN 978-0-919618-59-6.
- Poulantzas, Nicos & Camiller, Patrick (2000). State, power, socialism. Verso. ISBN 978-1-85984-274-4.
- Sanders, John T. & Narveson, Jan (1996). For and against the state: new philosophical readings. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-0-8476-8165-5.
- Scott, James C. (1998). Seeing like a state: how certain schemes to improve the human condition have failed. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-07815-2.
- Taylor, Michael (1982). Community, anarchy, and liberty. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-27014-4.
- Zippelius, Reinhold (2010). Allgemeine Staatslehre, Politikwissenschaft (16th ed.). C.H. Beck, Munich. ISBN 978-3-406-60342-6.
- Uzgalis, William (May 5, 2007). "John Locke". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.