The State as Cultural Practice

Paperback | April 22, 2015

byMark Bevir, R. A. W. Rhodes

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The State as Cultural Practice offers a fully worked out account of the authors' distinctive interpretive approach to political science. It challenges the new institutionalism, probably the most significant present-day strand in both American and British political science. It moves away fromsuch notions as "bringing the state back in", "path dependency" and modernist empiricism. Instead, Bevir and Rhodes argue for an anti-foundational analysis, ethnographic and historical methods, and a decentred approach that rejects any essentialist definition of the state and espouses the idea ofpolitics as cultural practice. The book has three aims:* to develop an anti-foundational theory of the state* to develop a new research agenda around the topics of rule, rationalities, and resistance* by exploring empirical shifts and debates about the changing nature of the state to show how anti-foundational theory leads us to see them differently.Bevir and Rhodes argue for the idea of "the stateless state" or the state as meaning-in-action. So, the state is neither monolithic nor a causal agent. It consists solely of the contingent actions of specific individuals; of diverse beliefs about the public sphere, about authority and power, whichare constructed differently in contending traditions. Continuity and change are products of people inheriting traditions and modifying them in response to dilemmas. A decentred approach explores the limits to the state and seeks to develop a more diverse view of state authority and its exercise. Inshort, political scientists need to bring people back in to the study of the state.

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The State as Cultural Practice offers a fully worked out account of the authors' distinctive interpretive approach to political science. It challenges the new institutionalism, probably the most significant present-day strand in both American and British political science. It moves away fromsuch notions as "bringing the state back in"...

Mark Bevir is a Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. R. A. W. Rhodes is Professor of Government (Research) at the University of Southampton (UK); Adjunct Professor of Government and Public Policy at Griffith University (Brisbane, Australia); and Emeritus Professor of Politics at the University of N...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:272 pagesPublished:April 22, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199604487

ISBN - 13:9780199604487

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Table of Contents

List of Figures and TablesPreface and acknowledgements1. IntroductionPart I: State theory2. Institutionalism3. Anti-foundationalism4. Interpretation5. Rethinking the statePart II: Rule, Rationalities, and Resistance6. Ministerial ruling7. Managerial rationalities8. Living Westminster Traditions9. Bringing people back inConclusionsBibliographyIndex