DAVID HELD: CENTRAL PERSPECTIVES ON THE MODERN STATE

• The state is an all-pervasive concept central to !o"ern social an" political theor#
• Earlier political ri$hts o%li$ations an" "&ties 'ere tie" to reli$io&s tra"ition an" propert#
ri$hts
o Hence the i"ea o( an i!personal political instit&tion o( )state* 'ith s&pre!e
+&ris"iction over a territor# co&l" not pre"o!inate
o Si!ilarl# i"ea o( )in"ivi"&als* an" )active citi,ens* &nhear" o( - instea" people
'ere lo#al s&%+ects
o As (e&"alis! "ecline" nat&re an" li!its o( political a&thorit# la' ri$hts an"
o%e"ience e!er$e"
• S.inner: State is /a (or! o( p&%lic po'er separate (ro! %oth r&ler an" r&le" an"
constit&tin$ the s&pre!e political a&thorit# 'ithin a certain "e(ine" %o&n"ar#01
• Di((erence theories o( state: Li%eralis! li%eral "e!ocrac# Mar2is! Political Sociolo$#
o All "iver$ent
• Distinction %et'een nor!ative political theor# 3or philosoph#4 an" theories o( social
sciences
o 5or!er a%o&t 'hat is "esira%le in proper political or$anisation- e$s0 Ho%%es Loc.e
an" Mill on li%ert#
o Latter a%o&t act&al pheno!ena 3e!pirical4 - e$0 6e%er
o Mar2 stra""les the t'o
• Li%eralis!: (reein$ civil societ# (ro! political control an" inter(erence an"
"eli!itation o( state a&thorit#
o 7phel" reason tolerance
o All in"ivi"&als (ree e8&al - have nat&ral ri$hts
 All politics sho&l" %e a%o&t the "e(ence o( these ri$hts
 Mechanis!s to re$&late in"ivi"&als* p&rs&it o( these ri$hts:
 Constit&tional State
 Private Propert#
 Co!petitive Mar.et Econo!#
 Patriarchal 5a!il#
o Propert#-o'nin$ %o&r$eoisie !ale 'as the (oc&s - (irst to receive (ree"o!s
 There(ore 'orl" 'as li%eral first - then "e!ocratic 'ith universal (ranchise
o Ho%%es
 De(ine" state as a )Leviathan’ - an arti(icial !an 'ith per!anence an"
soverei$nt#
 Le$iti!ate an" a%sol&te po'er - to prevent civil 'ar
 Para"o2: %oth li%eral an" illi%eral
 Li%eral %eca&se e!phasises i!portance o( consent to le$iti!ise the social
contract
 Illi%eral %eca&se e!phasises i!portance o( an all-po'er(&l state (or peace an"
har!on#
 H&!an %ein$s "riven %# sel(ish "esires - th&s perpet&all# restless an" sel(-
intereste"
 Constant str&$$le (or po'er an" s&rvival - state o( nat&re is short an" %r&tish
 There(ore a"vocate" s&rren"er o( ri$hts
 To a po'er(&l a&thorit# 'ho can (orce people to .eep their pro!ises an"
respect their arran$e!ents
 S&rren"er is con"itional - all !&st "o the sa!e
 Th&s social contract (or!e" - ever#one is o%li$ate" to o%e# the soverei$n
&ncon"itionall#
 This soverei$n is the res&lt o( consent - it represents the people an" acts as their
a$ent
 Th&s Ho%%es re+ects "ivine clai!s o( 9in$s - a"vocates $overn!ent %#
consent
 Soverei$n e2ists to protect people*s lives propert#
 M&st teach people to respect all .in"s o( propert# 3a !an*s %o"# his (a!il#
an" his 'ealth an" !eans o( livin$ are all s&ccessive levels o( propert#4 so the#
can p&rs&e their tra"e an" livelihoo" an" in"&str# an" polit# can (lo&rish
 Li!itations o( soverei$n
 Cannot in+&re in"ivi"&als or their propert#
 A&thorit# is s&staine" onl# as lon$ as it can o((er protection to all
 5eat&res
 State is pre-e!inent - provi"es con"itions that allo' societ# to e2ist
 Sin$le &n"ivi"e" po'er(&l state is necessar# %eca&se !en are sel(ish
 State represents the p&%lic 3s&! o( in"ivi"&al interests4 an" !&st %e
consi"ere" le$iti!ate in all its actions
o :ohn Loc.e
 Criticise" Ho%%es - no $&arantee that soverei$n 'o&l" not a%&se po'er
 Point o( state is to protect in"ivi"&als* ri$hts
 E!phasise" consent
 Co&l" %e revo.e" i( $overn!ent co&l" not s&stain p&%lic $oo"
 State o( Nat&re
 In"ivi"&als are %o&n" %# "&t# to ;o" $overne" %# la' o( nat&re
 Nat&ral ri$hts - pres&ppose" inaliena%le
 All !en are (ree an" e8&al %eca&se the# possess reason rationalit#
 Ri$ht to $overn one*s a((airs "ispose o( their o'n la%o&r possess propert#
3incl&"es )li(e li%ert# an" estate*4
 Nat&ral ri$hts are not al'a#s sa(e$&ar"e" in state o( nat&re %eca&se o(
)inconveniences*
 Main inconvenience is ina"e8&ate re$&lation o( the ri$ht to li(e li%ert# an"
estate
 Therefore, create a contract to create, first, an independent society, and
then a political society or government - an absolutist state is undesirable
 6hen state is (or!e" not all ri$hts are trans(erre" to it 3&nli.e in Ho%%es* !o"el4
 La'-!a.in$ an" en(orce!ent are trans(erre" %&t on the con"ition that the
state is carr#in$ o&t its (&nction o( preservation o( li(e li%ert# an" estate
 There is separation o( po'ers o( le$islation 3parlia!entar# asse!%l#4 an"
en(orce!ent 3a constit&tional !onarch4 to prevent concentration o( po'er
3opposite o( Ho%%es4
 Consent
 Mi$ht %e interprete" as contin&all#-active personal a$ree!ent 'ith
$overn!ent
 <&t act&all# Loc.e consi"ere" active consent cr&cial onl# at (or!ative sta$e
o( $overn!ent
 A(ter that consent is "erive" (ro! the representatives* !a+orit# "ecision an"
people*s o%e"ience o( the le$al s#ste!
 Ai! o( state is to !aintain la' an" or"er an" prevent t#rann#
 A political community is (or!e" consistin$ o( citi,ens 'ho have ri$hts an"
o%li$ations
 There(ore a (&n"a!ental point o( "i((erence 'ith Ho%%es: citi,ens are %est
+&"$e o( their o'n interests an" th&s can restrict the state*s scope to ens&re
ever# citi,en*s !a2i!&! (ree"o!
 Di" not ela%orate &pon li!its o( state a&thorit# or +&sti(ication (or civil
"iso%e"ience
 Also never spo.e o( sel(-$overn!ent
 Sai" po'er 'as hel" )on tr&st* %# state (or the people %&t never "e(ine"
)people* an" never lai" "o'n con"itions (or %esto'in$ tr&st
• Li%eral "e!ocrac#
o <entha! an" Mill - spo.e o( acco&nta%ilit# o( $overnors to the $overne" -
$overnors !&st %e "irectl# acco&nta%le to an electorate in case o( o%+ectives not
%ein$ !et
 H&!ans act to $ain pleas&re an" avoi" pain - !a2i!ise &tilit#
 There(ore $overn!ents !&st tr# to achieve $reatest happiness o( the $reatest
n&!%er 3&tilit# principle4
 State sho&l" provi"e s&%sistence pro"&ce a%&n"ance (avo&r e8&alit# an"
!aintain sec&rit# 3the !ost i!portant $oal4
 I( it "oes so it is in the interest o( the people to o%e# the state
 State sho&l" supervise as in"ivi"&als p&rs&e their o'n interests - not intervene
&nnecessaril#
 Perio"ic elections a%olishin$ !onarchical po'ers "ivision o( state po'ers
an" (ree !ar.et 'o&l" lea" to !a2i!&! %ene(it
 <&t state should intervene to control the "iso%e"ient or those 'ho challen$e
sec&rit# or the !ar.et societ#
 Also intervene to reor"er social instit&tions i( laissez-faire policies (aile"
 There(ore a"vocate" so!e "e$ree o( re$&lation %&t no ar%itrar# sel(-
intereste" intervention 3Mill4
 Intervention sho&l" %e (or protection an" preservation
 Th&s sel(-re$ar"in$ actions sho&l" not %e in(rin$e" &pon as it is o(
concern onl# to the in"ivi"&al 'ho is soverei$n over his o'n a((airs
 Rel&ctant "e!ocrats - e2cl&"e" 'o!en an" the entire 'or.in$ class 3Mill later
revise" this4
 Sai" "e!ocrac# 'as a lo$ical re8&ire!ent (or $overnance as the people ha"
%een (ree" (ro! a%sol&te po'er an" havin$ en"less "esires (or!e" !ass
cons&!er $ro&ps to !a2i!ise private $ain - re8&ire" "e!ocrac# to enhance
these en"s
 De!ocrac# an" li%ert# lea" to in"epen"ent !in" an" a&tono!o&s +&"$!ent -
vital (or h&!an reason an" rationalit#
 Mill a"vocate" in"ivi"&al li%ert# in all spheres
 Sai" participatin$ in political li(e 'as vital to "evelop "irect interest in
$overn!ent - there(ore create involve" in(or!e" citi,enr# an" sti!&late
"evelop!ent o( in"ivi"&alit# an" !oralit#
 Mill an" votin$
 He tho&$ht so!e have "evelope" their (ac&lties !ore than others an" th&s
reco!!en"e" a pl&ral s#ste! o( votin$
 All a"&lts vote - %&t 'iser !ore 8&ali(ie" have more votes than the
illiterate
 Those 'ith !ost propert# an" privile$e co&l" not %e o&tvote" %# 'or.in$
classes
 Mill 'as critical o( 'ealth an" po'er ine8&alities %&t "i" not act&all# a"vocate
political social an" econo!ic e8&alit#
o Li%eral "e!ocrac# too. its (&ll !o"ern (or! 'ith the intro"&ction o( &niversal a"&lt
s&((ra$e - e8&al political participation = e8&al h&!an "evelop!ent
o Thus, liberals (17
th
and 18
th
Century) believed social contract to be the key
factor in legitimising government liberal democrats (1!
th
and "#
th
Century)
believed the ballot bo$ played this role both groups emphasised consent
o Ro&ssea&
 Pri!aril# concerne" 'ith "e!ocrac# in non-in"&strial a$ric&lt&ral societies
 State o( Nat&re - people happ# (orce" to co!e o&t o( it %eca&se o( threats to their
preservation 3nat&ral "isasters in"ivi"&al 'ea.nesses etc4
 People realise" that the# co&l" onl# en+o# (&ll li%ert# an" (&ll# "evelop
the!selves i( the# esta%lishe" a s#ste! o( cooperation in la'-!a.in$ an"
en(orce!ent thro&$h a social contract
 Social contract creates possi%ilit# o( sel(-$overn!ent - soverei$nt# ori$inates
in the people an" sta#s 'ith the! 3is not trans(erre" in an# (or!4
 Challen$e" concept o( a state that can onl# occasionall# %e hel" lia%le to its
people
 Active citi,enr# - people sho&l" con$re$ate "isc&ss an" enact la's
 Citi,enship criteria - s!all propert# 8&ali(ication no "epen"enc# on
others 3There(ore 'o!en an" the poor not citi,ens4
 Citi,ens create are %o&n" %# an" artic&late the $eneral 'ill 3p&%licl# $enerate"
concept o( co!!on $oo"4
 Citi,ens are onl# %o&n" %# the la's that the# enact 'ith the $eneral $oo" in
!in"
 E2ec&tive (&nctions assi$ne" to a )$overn!ent* or )prince* (or e2pe"ienc# - to
coor"inate p&%lic !eetin$s "ra(t la's serve as a !eans o( co!!&nication an"
en(orce la's
 ;overn!ent co&l" %e re!ove" i( not 'or.in$ (or $eneral 'ill
 In(l&ence" 5rench Revol&tion Mar2 anarchis!
• Class coercion an" Mar2is!
o Attac.e" the !ain li%eral contention that the startin$ point o( anal#sis o( the state is
the in"ivi"&al an" his relation to the state
o In"ivi"&als onl# e2ist 'hen in interaction 'ith others
 An in"ivi"&al activit# or instit&tion can onl# %e properl# e2plaine" %# its
historicall#-evolvin$ interaction 'ith social pheno!ena
o Class str&ct&re
 Arose onl# 'hen a s&rpl&s 'as $enerate" - hence non-pro"&cers co&l" live o(( a
pro"&ctive class
 Those 'ho o'n the !eans o( pro"&ction %eco!e "o!inant econo!icall# an"
politicall#
 Class str&ct&re i!plies e2ploitation "ivision o( interest %et'een haves an" have-
nots
 Class str&$$les are the !ain ca&se an" !echanis! o( historical chan$e
o E((ects o( capitalis!
 Most people %eco!e 'a$e-'or.ers - sell la%o&r-po'er to s&%sist
 The !o"e o( pro"&ction e2tracts s&rpl&s val&e 3val&e create" a%ove the 'a$e
level4 (ro! the 'or.ers an" this s&rpl&s is ta.en &p %# the o'ners o( capital
o State action
 State tries to act ne&trall# to treat all e8&all# protect in"ivi"&al ri$hts etc0
 Act&all# en"s &p s&stainin$ the privile$es o( those 'ho o'n propert# an"
!eans o( pro"&ction 3th&s it is not actually in"epen"ent4
 Private o'nership o( !eans o( pro"&ction is the !ain so&rce o( conte!porar#
po'er %&t it is %asicall# "e-politicise"
 ;ap %et'een haves an" have-nots re$ar"e" as a !atter o( (ree private
contracts an" not o( state interest
 Mar2 state" that the state can shape civil societ# an" even c&r% the %o&r$eoisie*s
control
 State can con"&ct s&rveillance thro&$h in(or!ation net'or. - its political
a&tono!# allo's it to repress social !ove!ent that threaten the stat&s 8&o
 Thus, the state turns universal aims and the %general &ill' into another
private interest
o > Mar2ist positions
 ?: State an" %&rea&cratic instit&tions !a# not %e &n"er "irect control o( or %e
lin.e" 'ith the interests o( the "o!inant class - there(ore somewhat in"epen"ent
 > 3the "o!inant position4 : state an" %&rea&crac# are class instruments - serve
r&lin$ classes* interests
o <&rea&crac# is the corps o( state o((icials - close" entit# 'ithin the state operates in
secrec#
 <&rea&crat serves an" o%e#s hi$her a&thorit# an" (&rthers state interest
o <onaparte e2a!ple
 Napoleon &s&rpe" political po'er %&t !aintaine" the economic po'er o( the
%o&r$eoisie %eca&se it 'as a vital part o( the econo!# so&rce o( loans an"
reven&e etc0 - this allo'e" (or the re$eneration o( its political po'er as 'ell later
on
o State is a s&perstr&ct&re over socio-econo!ic relations - it serves the interest o( the
econo!icall#-"o!inant class 3the %o&r$eoisie4 in the na!e o( p&%lic interest 3position
")
 It is "epen"ent &pon those 'ho "o!inate the econo!# - a )!achine (or the
oppression o( one class %# the other*
 Even (ree"o! o( press asse!%l# etc0 %ene(it "o!inant class
 The# clai! these instit&tions are open an" hence $&arantee e8&alit# %&t the#
act&all# control the!
 E2pan"in$ &pon state action 3a%ove4 state intervention never &n"er!ines the
process o( capital acc&!&lation %eca&se state action al'a#s correspon"s 'ith
capitalist relations o( pro"&ction an" hence !aintains %o&r$eoisie po'er
 Ta2es le$islation etc0 all to preserve these repressive instit&tions
 Mar2 re+ecte" this - sai" the state co&l" re"istri%&te propert# an" !eans o(
pro"&ction i( necessar#
 State is characterise" %# the &se o( (orce 3police etc04
 True freedom &ill come &hen there is no state
o Ne' or"er
 Everyone involve" in control an" s&pervision - no one has hi$her stan"in$ in an#
re$ar"
 Lenin: "iscipline is i!portant %&t "oes not re8&ire an elite class 3read up on
(enin, pg) *" and position 1 if you &ant to) +t's not strictly relevant + think))
• Ma2 6e%er an" the Nation State
o Conteste" Mar2*s %elie( that the state is a )parasite*
o Dis!isse" "irect "e!ocrac#
 ;ro'in$ co!ple2it# an" scope o( a"!inistration lea"s to nee" (or special
per!anent str&ct&re (or a"!inistration an" r&le - th&s %&rea&crac# is essential
o 6e%er spo.e o( territor# an" violence as .e# ele!ents o( the state
 Mo"ern state can le$iti!ise 3an" !onopolise4 the &se o( violence 'ithin its
territor#
 Th&s another .e# ele!ent o( the state: legitimacy s&staine" %# a %elie( in the
legality o( this &se o( (orce
 O%e"ience is o'e" in the !o"ern state %eca&se o( le$alit# %elie( in
stat&tor# a&thorit# an" rules 3&nli.e %e(ore 'hen it 'as %ase" on ha%it
tra"ition or charis!a4
o Mo"ern state helpe" pro!ote capitalis! an" is not a pro"&ct o( it
 <oth private an" p&%lic a"!inistration is %eco!in$ !ore %&rea&crati,e" - in %oth
cases a"!inistrative o((icials are separate" (ro! o'nership an" lea"ership
o 5eare" &nli!ite" %&rea&crati,ation an" rise o( %&rea&cratic po'er partic&larl# that o(
top o((icials
 A"vocate" a stron$ parlia!ent that 'o&l" lea" to stron$ lea"ership to %alance
%&rea&crac#
 Th&s 'as pri!aril# concerne" 'ith national po'er an" presti$e - he %elieve"
national $reatness "epen"e" on (in"in$ $reat lea"ers thro&$h "e!ocrac#
o <elieve" that in socialis! the top !ana$e!ent o( nationalise" enterprises 'o&l"
%eco!e %&rea&cratic
 Reliance on those 'ho control reso&rces 'o&l" increase as (ree !ar.et is a .e#
%alance o( state po'er
o Disa$ree" that !erel# anal#sin$ class str&$$le 'o&l" s&((ice to st&"# po'er
 Also criticise" the socialists %# sa#in$ that classes co&l" not %e re"&ce" to p&rel#
econo!ic relations0
o ,undamentally differed from -ar$ists by saying that public and private
administrations are similarly structured, instead of being determined by forces
of class po&er)
o Li!itations:
 Ne$lecte" ho' those 'ho are not at the top o( an a"!inistration can increase their
po'er0
 Di" not e2plain lin. %et'een risin$ state %&rea&crati,ation an" !o"ern-"a#
capitalis!0
 Di" not anal#se e((ect o( c&lt&ral econo!ic an" technolo$ical (orces as
in"epen"ent o( capitalist "evelop!ent0
The rest o( the rea"in$ spea.s o( !iscellaneo&s thin.ers an" their 'ritin$s (ollo'e" %# a
concl&sion0 Rea" pgs) *.-*8 i( so incline" %&t it "oesn*t loo. that i!portant to !e0 ;oo"
ni$ht an" $oo" l&c.0 

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