Comparative work on the state, in terms of both new cases and general theoretical frameworks, has proliferated in the last decade. In this new work, traditional categories of differentiation such as structural-functionalism, Marxism, and pluralism have lost relevance and have been replaced by common conceptual strands that infuse every subfield of research on the state. In this review we select the most important conceptual strands and examine new research in state formation, the state's role in economic development, and the state's relation to social movements and ethnic identity formation. Despite the frequent criticism that the state is the only explanatory variable in these studies, we find that the literature has always recognized that statesociety relations are critical to understanding state action.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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