On the Originality, Legacy, and Actuality of Nicos Poulantzas
is now some twelve years since the tragic death of Nicos Poulantzas.' His name will be familiar to many SPE readers for two main reasons. First, he was a major contributor to the nee-Marxist rediscovery of the state (notably through the much-cited debate which he began with Ralph Miliband);2 and, second, he also provoked controversy for his account of changes in postwar capitalism and their implications for classes and the class struggle? Curiously, while he is often praised for his agenda-setting contribution in state theory, he is also condemned for his role in demoting or even denying the primacy of the working class in the struggle for socialism.4 Unfortunately his celebrity or notoriety (depending on one's theoretical and political viewpoint) in these debates has hindered a fuller, more nuanced appreciation of Poulantzas 's overall contribution to modern social theory. For his interests and contributions actually went much beyond these two fields; and, even with regard to state theory and class analysis, they also revealed significant shifts in approach which have too often passed unremarked. Thus this paper aims to reconsider the significance of Poulantzas's work. Elsewhere I have argued that Poulantzas is the single most important Marxist political theorist of the postwar period.S Here I want both to reaffirm and qualify this view by arguing that his studies are not so much "contemporary" as "classical" in their current standing. This useful distincStudies In Political Economy 34, Spring 1991
Studies in Political Economy
tion derives from Niklas Luhmann. Luhmann suggests that a theory can be seen as "classical" when it offers an interconnected set of claims that has been superseded by later theoretical developments and is, therefore, no longer convincing in its original form. Nonetheless it still survives as a challenge on a theoretical level as long as its way of posing problems can still be accepted. Thus its authoritative character is ambivalent: one can infer from such a theory what must be achieved, but no longer how to achieve it.6 Such an approach is useful because it helps us to identify problems in Poulantzas's work while at the same time treating it as a crucial source for a continuous theoretical tradition on the nature of the state, social classes, and political mobilization in modern capitalism. Here I will argue that Poulantzas's stature rests on his intellectual originality, theoretical legacy, and political actuality or relevance. This needs to be qualified in three quite different respects. First, while reaffirming a claim for his importance, I explain why he was so original. This I do in terms of the intellectual and the political sources of his breakthrough in Marxist theory. Second, since it is hard to compare the influence of a single theorist (whether "classical" or "contemporary") with that of broader schools in which many theorists and researchers are involved, a few comments on Poulantzas's relation to other currents would be appropriate. In this way I hope to establish his immediate legacy for state theory. And, third. although Poulantzas remains a major figure within postwar Western Marxism, the overall influence of Marxist political theory has declined since his death. Thus, after citing some reasons for this, I also discuss whether other developments in state theory mean that Poulantzas's work has since become more marginal. Overall I conclude that his work is still relevant and, despite its obvious problems in many respects, in many others it has not yet been superseded. The Significance of Poulantzas Perry Anderson identifies the following key questions as those which Western Marxism has left unanswered:
[W]hat is the real nature and structure of bourgeois democracy as a type of State system, that has become the normal mode of capitalist power in the advanced countries? What type of revolutionary strategy is capable of overthrowing this historical form of State - so distinct from that of Tsarist Russia? What would be the institutional forms of socialist democracy in the West, beyond it? Marxist theory has scarcely touched these three subjects in their interconnection.?
Whatever the validity of this last claim for other theorists (and things have certainly been changing), there can be no doubt that these three subjects preoccupied Poulantzas from 1964 until his death in 1979. Poulantzas was almost alone among postwar Marxists to address and answer the really crucial questions within Marxist politics. His first influential book, Political Power and Social Classes published in 1968, was concerned with the real nature and structure of bourgeois democracy. Fascism and Dictatorship which appeared in 1970, dealt with the nature of fascist regimes and the failure of the labour movement either to check their rise or to overthrow them. It was also directly concerned with the distinction between the "normal mode of capitalist power in the advanced countries" and various "exceptional" modes of bourgeois political domination. In his third and fourth books, Classes in Contemporary Capitalism (1974) and Crisis of the Dictatorships (1976), Poulantzas related problems of revolutionary strategy to democratic and exceptional regimes in both advanced and dependent capitalist countries. And his final book, State, Power, Socialism, which appeared in 1978, reviewed the current threats to bourgeois democracy and the institutional forms which socialist democracy might assume in the West. Moreover, not only did Poulantzas tackle each of the three subjects which Anderson identifies as central to Marxist politics, he was also increasingly interested in them "in their interconnection." Poulantzas also went beyond such concerns to other important issues in Marxist theory. Here again Anderson is useful since he mentions four other failures of contemporary Marxism: failure to tackle the meaning and position of the nation as a social unit and its relationship to nationalism;
? Even if one rejects this particular claim. But he did deal with each of them to some extent. Both men moved from legal
. Nor was he content to interpret the world from his seat in the British Museum. both his theoretical focus and his philosophical position underwent several changes. Curiously his work involved shifts in theoretical object which are remarkably similar to those of Marx himself. He was also influenced by quite specific political conditions and objectives. he was unusual. his major theoretical breakthroughs occurred after he became a communist. neglecting the true configuration of imperialism as an international system of economic and political domination. He made various practical interventions to advance the cause of the international socialist movement. and English economics. In short among Western Marxists. Thus a full account of Marx's originality would require us to look not only at the intellectual shifts involved in his theoretical development but also at the impact of changing political commitments and conditions. Poulantzas certainly made major contributions to Marxist political analysis. bureaucratic socialism and Stalinism. and failure to confront the nature of the bureaucratic states which arose in those backward countries where socialist revolutions had occurred.Studies in Political Economy
ignoring the contemporary laws of motion of capitalism as a mode of production and the forms of crisis specific to these laws. The Originality of Poulantzas It is often said that Marx's originality lies in his unique synthesis of three different sources: German philosophy. French politics. As he worked at synthesizing these different currents. Clearly Poulantzas could not examine all these complex issues in the same detail and with the same rigour which he devoted to the capitalist state in the West.I Here we are not concerned with Marx himself but with someone bold enough to have claimed that he had completed Marx's theory of the state. He also touched on the nation and nationalism. Thus. He was particularly concerned with contemporary imperialism and with the nature of modern capitalism as a system of political economy. although he started out as a radical liberal democrat. however.
third. not English economics.JessoplPoulantzas
philosophy to the state and then to political economy. Certain Austro-Marxist themes (notably the need to combine direct democracy 79
. Nonetheless his theoretical and political shifts were more or less closely associated with shifts in philosophical position. and Paris. later. in relation to Romano-German law. but Romano-German law. Munich. of course. more generally. In the field of Italian politics he was influenced above all by Gramsci and.not German . Poulantzas went on to synthesise these sources in a unique manner within the overarching framework of Marxist political economy.not French . and. And. Poulantzas moved from a Sartrean approach through Althusserian structuralism to a revolutionary materialism different in several respects from that of Marx. influenced by other theoretical sources but they were always filtered through the three main traditions. finally. Heidelberg. From an existential-marxist approach he tried to combine Althusserian philosophical positions and Gramscian political positions within an essentially Marxist-Leninist outlook and then went on to adopt a left Eurocommunist position. 1. But his sources were somewhat different from those that inspired Marx. Sartre and existentialism. and. More specifically.politics. The shifts in Poulantzas's political position might seem less radical but they are nonetheless important. Foucault and the microphysics of power and strategy. the key influences were the Vienna school associated with Hans Kelsen and. then Althusser and structuralism. not any economics. the constitutional and administrative law which he had acquired at Law Schools in Athens. Naturally Marx and Poulantzas also undertook rather different shifts in their respective philosophical positions. He was. Italian . For Poulantzas they were French . the Ingrao left (a left Eurocommunist tendency in the Italian Communist Party). The Three Sources of Poulantzas Thought Poulantzas also found himself at the confluence of three rather contrasting theoretical streams and his originality also lies in the unique synthesis he produced from them.philosophy. he drew successively on three French philosophical traditions: first. Thus Maoist themes were taken up through an Althusserian perspective.
private and public. Both allegedly reduced the nature of the state to a simple reflection of the economic base and/or suggested that political class struggles followed the course of economic development. More generally Poulantzas noted that orthodox Marxism had systematically neglected the question of the state." These different streams were combined and developed in a quite specific manner within the context of Marxist political economy. He tried to remedy this. bourgeois and citizen.. As his work developed Poulantzas connected these arguments more closely and coherently with traditional Marxist economic themes. In particular he analyzed the labour process in terms of a complex economic. For Poulantzas firmly opposed the traditions of the Second International and the Comintern. This is especially clear in capitalist societies with their characteristic institutional separation between market and state. He had also brought new insights to this framework.Studies in Political Economy
with representative democracy) were likewise appropriated through their influence in Italian political debate. political. to state power as an institutionally-mediated condensation of the balance of forces in political class struggle.e. These had largely been ignored in his early work and only became prominent in his work on Classes in Contemporary Capitalism. With his last major work on state theory. and intellectual division of labour and examined social classes from the viewpoint of their "ex80
. In particular he stressed the sui generis nature of political class struggle and the relative autonomy of the state. Poulantzas had synthesised the three sources of his approach firmly within the framework of classical Marxist political economy. Later Poulantzas justified his focus on the political in terms of Althusser's account of the relative autonomy of the political sphere within a complex "structure in dominance" determined in the last instance by the economic. Initially Poulantzas justified this emphasis through a Sartrean approach to structural analysis. i. Thus he used the 'internal-external' dialectic to explore the complex internal organization of different institutional orders and their differential determination by external factors. however. Eventually he developed his own distinctive approach to the state as a social relation.
the mode of production for the whole of societal organization and to the primacy of proletarian class struggle in the transition to socialism. When he claimed to have discovered the Marxist theory of the state.12 Indeed his problem was not so much a retreat from the primacy of the economic and the crucial role of class analysis as it was a continuing commitment to some of the more deterministic and class reductionist versions of these principles. Only in his last year. although sometimes criticized for giving too much weight to ideological factors in defining the class position of the new middle classes. At a time when there was a general hue and cry about the 'crisis of Marxism'. the overdetermination of concrete conjunctures. did he begin seriously to question these fundamental tenets of Marxism and try to move beyond them.J essop/Poulantzas
tended reproduction" rather than in restricted economic terms. sui generis properties and its overall position in capitalist societies. For he remained trapped within classical Marxist political economy. But there was little mileage to be derived from Althusser's philosophical position in developing the substantive concepts for a theory of the state. In turning to an Althusserian approach Poulantzas mainly sought to justify a separate political theory against more conventional base-superstructure arguments. Poulantzas remained committed to the ultimately determining role of.l! Poulantzas always placed the social relations of production in their integral sense at the heart of his analysis of class struggle. he was alluding to his thesis that the
. 2. Here Poulantzas needed to supplement Althusserian concepts with others drawn from Italian Marxism and legal theory. and the notion of relative autonomy. Thus he drew heavily on Althusser's arguments about the movement from abstract to concrete. 1979. In his last theoretical phase Poulantzas used a relational approach. But he also drew on Sartre's method of dialectical reasoning to establish the complex 'internal-external' determinations of bourgeois law in terms of its own. The Philosophical Preconditions of Poulantzas's Theory In his Sartrean phase Poulantzas's main philosophical concern was to establish the unity of fact and value. Thus.
and ideological whole. In the intellectual and political conjuncture of France in the mid-sixties this framework could only be provided by Althusser. I think that this stress on revolutionary materialism is correct. For. For it was Marx who elaborated the paradigmatic thesis that capital is a social relation. juridicopolitical. the
. Poulantzas's changing theoretical and political positions were clearly linked to changes in his philosophical approach. Poulantzas was influenced by Foucault. Poulantzas needed Althusser to move beyond Sartre. In steadily abandoning structuralism. although Poulantzas was mainly concerned with political rather than philosophical questions. Some institutional elements of his new approach occur in his earlier work on law. In this sense. revolutionary materialism (or at least its 'relational' kernel) to develop his mature theory of the state. changes in his ontological and/or methodological assumptions were clearly vital mediating links in his changing views of the state and political strategy. his crucial theoretical innovations would have been unthinkable without the influence of AIthusserian structuralism. In turn. some 'classtheoretical' aspects in his preliminary remarks on hegemony. But this relational turn was essentially rooted in the dynamic of his own thought and political involvements and its germs can already be seen in his first work on state theory. if Poulantzas's subsequent shift towards a relational theory of the state and a left Eurocommunist politics were associated with a move towards Foucauldian positions. Thus Poulantzas needed to go beyond Althusser and to rediscover Marx's non-structuralist. for example. But Althusserianism in its initial form also blocked further theoretical and political advance. This did entail a fundamental philosophical shift and a return to the revolutionary materialism of Marx. just as Marx needed Feuerbach to move beyond Hegel.Studies in Political Economy
state is a social relation. In the specific conjuncture in which Poulantzas was working on Political Power and Social Classes. as well as in relation to the overall structure of the capitalist system as an economic. But they could only be adequately brought together and combined with other arguments when these different elements were located at different levels in the movement from abstract to concrete.
a crucial factor for Poulantzas's break was surely his partial abandonment of a 'pure' proletarian class posttion. It involved both a fundamental return to Marx and a partial movement beyond him. Marxist method of theoretical and political analysis. even if it were true. At the same time they presuppose changes in his philosophical position.JessoplPoulantzas
latter are nonetheless best interpreted as means through which new ideas were expressed rather than as their essential precondition. His innovations assume both his involvement in three distinctive theoretical traditions and his commitment to a particular.not Foucault as an epistemologist or methodologist . Marx had to await the Paris Commune before he was finally able to work out his views on the 'dictatorship of the proletariat'. But he also stressed that it was Foucault as an analyst of power . Otherwise nothing would have happened. The key to this movement appears to be his involvement in Greek and French politics. that it was only by adopting proletarian political positions that Marx could make his major scientific breakthrough. His philosophical breakthrough was his own.who inspired him. It is equally clear that not all those involved in Greek or French politics developed Poulantzas's theoretical framework. The Motor-force of Political Involvements We must also ask what drove Poulantzas beyond a philosophy of law written from the perspective of 'existential-marxism' to a hybrid Althusserian and Gramscian account of the state and thence to a leftwing Eurocommunist position. Poulantzas certainly acknowledged the influence of Foucauldian language and ideas as he thought through new problems. 3.P The latter characterised his Marxist-Leninist phase and prevented him from understanding the nature of politics in modern societies. The political involvements that provided the motor force here were the result of political events well beyond Poulantzas's control. Thus Poulantzas had to await the collapse
. Likewise Poulantzas had to await the collapse of the Greek junta in 1974 before he could finally develop his views on the 'dictatorship of the bourgeoisie' and its implications for socialist strategy. as Althusser has suggested. Moreover.
It confirmed his rapidly growing suspicion that the state was far from monolithic and that class struggle penetrated deep within the state itself.Studies in Political Economy
of the Union de la Gauche at the prompting of the French Communist Party in 1977 before he could re-evaluate the leading role of the vanguard communist party and the working class in the struggle for socialism. In turn this implied that a left Eurocommunist strategy aimed at intensifying the contradictions internal to the state as well as mobilising the popular masses outside the state could prepare the ground for the eventual democratic transformation of the state system as a whole. Thus Poulantzas's originality also depended on his attempts to understand and influence leftwing policy towards political events in Greece and France. For Greece his principal concern was to understand its military dictatorship. Two key turning points for him were the Greek coup in April 1967 and its eventual collapse under the weight of its own internal contradictions in May 1974. and the ultra-left's equally misguided belief that socialism had arrived and that the state would simply wither away and could
. This view was reinforced by the failure of the so-called Portuguese Revolution despite the more favourable position of left-wing forces in the initial struggle for power. Only then did he seriously consider popular-democratic struggles and the activities of the new social movements with their cross-class character. and the prospects for moving from an anti-dictatorial alliance to an anti-imperialist. The coup itself posed starkly the fundamental difference between democracy and dictatorship and also led him to a more active political role. the conditions leading to its overthrow. anti-monopoly alliance. The way in which the dictatorship collapsed. especially the absence of mass struggles directly concerned to confront the state. And not until then did he develop the full force of his strategy for a democratic transition to democratic socialism. For Poulantzas was particularly scathing about the reformists' attempts in Portugal simply to infiltrate the leading personnel of the state at the expense of mass struggle. posed equally stark problems. the absence of working class hegemony in the democratization process.
which denied any a priori privilege to the working class or communist party. If the Greek coup and its eventual collapse proved significant in some respects. and to transform the state. democratic socialist programme. Much of his work can be seen as an attempt to provide the theoretical justification for class alliances (especially between proletariat and new petty bourgeoisie rather than between worker and peasant). and he advocated a combination of representative and direct democracy as the best means to avoid the statist degeneration of socialism which had occurred in the Soviet bloc.J essop/Poulantzas
therefore safely be ignored. the theoretical justification for combining class struggles with those of social movements. In this way Poulantzas arrived at his final political position. His continued efforts to understand these surprises led him to effect a new synthesis among his three theoretical traditions as well as to advocate a new political strategy. 85
. This final position was achieved because Poulantzas adopted positions in the political class struggle in both Greece and France. He called for a combination of struggles at a distance from the state. The surprises which events in these countries presented for him caused a continual reappraisal of his political and theoretical positions and their interrelations. later. It was this latter event that led Poulantzas to turn away from a simple faith in proletarian struggles and the leading role of the vanguard communist party and towards a more complex and more problematic alliance strategy. both pluriclassiste and pluripartiste. Instead Poulantzas called for a strategy which would democratise the state and permit it to be used in defense of autonomous rank-and-file movements at a distance from it. In relation to France Poulantzas's concerns ranged from the rise of authoritarian statism to the problems of left unity around an anti-monopoly. the struggle for left unity in France and its temporary collapse in 1977 proved significant in others. May 1968 was a crucial moment for Poulantzas as for other intellectuals in Paris. In subsequent years he became active in the ideological struggle for left unity. within the state. and. and which emphasised the autonomous role of non-class forces and social movements in the struggle for democratic socialism.
Moreover. it was not his particular solutions to these problems which came to be accepted as the conventional wisdom in state theory or class analysis or to define the terms of debate in political strategy. on imperialism and the changing forms of internationalization and fractionation of capital. Poulantzas was clearly influential. even where he did help to set the theoretical agenda.
it is clear that this influence has been much reduced in
recent years. continues as long as their work leaves identifiable traces on the work of others. disciples. or their use as controversial or negative reference points. 86
. An author has no other existence. "14 In short. In these terms the legacy of Poulantzas is ambivalent. the issues posed by the nature and dynamic of exceptional regimes. Or as Prezzolini put it. This is particularly apparent in the concern with the so-called "relative autonomy" of the state.largely on deaf ears. or the difficulties involved in a Foucauldian "micro-physics" of power . and. This can also be seen in his contributions to debates on the middle classes and productive and unproductive labour. for a time. and encompasses the marginalisation. For the legacy of a theorist does not consist in his/her literary remains: instead it comprises the ways in which these remains are taken up and used by contemporaries and successors. does not really address the question of his legacy. if he was once influential. Indeed.Studies in Political Economy
The Legacy of Poulantzas Suggesting that Poulantzas left behind some rich and original theoretical work. In creating a space for a "relatively autonomous" Marxist political science as well as in defining the more general concern with the capacities of the state and the nature of state power. Thus his invariably interesting and often incisive comments on the specificity of capitalist law. for good or ill. or exclusion of certain works. the forms of ideological class struggle.all these appear to have fallen . critics. opponents. In certain respects Poulantzas made a major contribution to the theoretical agenda in state theory in the 1970s. "the real life of an author emanates from his readers. commentators. the influence of theorists. In other respects Poulantzas had limited influence. on the problems involved in a democratic transition to democratic socialism.
in the same year that Poulantzas's last book appeared in English. or that all too frequently it remains unread. Moreover. interpretive traditions which are unsympathetic to arguments rooted in a realist epistemology which stresses the ontological depth of the social world. With this stigma attached. it is hardly surprising that Poulantzas's work is often cited gesturally.J essop/Poulantzas
Three general points are worth making in this context. Now this has not stopped equally or even more obscure thinkers achieving an impact . precisely because Poulantzas first won real attention in the anglophone world through his debate with Miliband. 15 Indeed. It is possibly for this reason that so much of Poulantzas's immediate legacy stems from the MilibandPoulantzas debate in which the issues at stake were relatively clear-cut and arguments were simplified to the point of distortion for the sake of polemic. it is even harder for modern readers to follow his often tortuous lines of argument. nor are its political and strategic implications very evident from his books as opposed to his many interviews. since Poulantzas followed Marx in presenting his theoretical arguments in terms of the movement from abstract to concrete. The first will be painfully self-evident to many readers. Poulantzas's booklength studies were more difficult to read and follow. a certain familiarity with this mode of presentation (Darstellung) and its underlying methodological assumptions is needed to make sense of the gradual unfolding of his analyses. It is not easy to follow Poulantzas's work. with the subsequent decline of structuralism and related intellectual currents which had provided such an important context for his approach.but it does prove an initial hurdle to be surmounted.
. This method is rather uncommon in the anglophone social sciences with their penchant for positivist theories and systematic empiricism and for hermeneutic. his later work usually has been read as structuralist.with his work either being explicitly charged with 'structuralism' or else subsumed under the more qualified label of 'structural Marxism'. Third. Second.readers will probably nominate different candidates for this dubious honour . This unjustifiable interpretation is still the dominant one within the anglophone world .
one might expect Poulantzas to have been influential in Germany. Law and the state are both key fields of enquiry there and the state was rethematized by the West German Marxists at more or less the same time as Poulantzas was rediscovering it in France. Poulantzas's Impact in the Seventies Even during his own life time. whose studies have yet to gain
. Poulantzas was too little concerned with developing the critique of political economy. Karl Marx's Theory of History was also published. more importantly."16 and it came to define angloMarxism as the centre of gravity of 1980s marxist theory. the bourgeois democratic republic. Yet.19 and.!? Certainly. in contrast with so-called "standards of clarity and rigour which distinguish twentieth-century analytical philosophy.Studies in Political Economy
Gerry Cohen's pathbreaking work in analytical marxism. Poulantzas's work faced an up-hill struggle in reaching a sympathetic and appreciative readership even when the overall theoretical and political conjuncture was favourable. therefore. This can partly be explained by the over-all strength of the postwar Marxist-Leninist "state monopoly capitalism" approach among those who were aligned to communist parties. his work on state theory had but little impact. This used "state of the art methods of analytical philosophy and 'positivist' social science."18 Poulantzas's works are not books that can be dipped into for a good read or for a quick insight into a specific problem. and too much concerned with just one form of capitalist state. as far as most contemporary German state theorists were concerned. by the vitality of the homegrown West German Ableitungsdebatte (state derivation debate) concerned with more abstract features of the capitalist state and their derivation from the basic features of capitalism. For example. though his early work on legal philosophy and Marxist legal theory was well received. In short. For all three reasons. Poulantzas's work encountered a complex theoretical and political environment which varied from country to country. 1. In this respect Poulantzas has suffered the same fate in West Berlin and West Germany as Gramsci. In turn this helps explain why there is no identifiable Poulantzasian school to act as the bearer of his theoretical and political approach.
And in both France and Greece his involvements in political debate and ideological struggles were also crucial in mediating his role in theoretical developments. Indeed its impact has probably been stronger in the latter area than it has been in state theory. Hindess and Hirst. Laclau. Poulantzas's work proved an important (if sometimes negative) reference point not only in state theory and analysis but also in theoretical and empirical work on social class. his influence was more directly related to his initial identification with structural Marxism. it is precisely the importance and vitality of the Gramscian tradition in Italy which seems to have limited Poulantzas's impact there.20 In turn it was a controversy in the pages of New Left Review between two Marxist scholars. Once this interest was aroused. which did much to stimulate anglophone interest in the 1970s. Poulantzas and Miliband. In France. Indeed one of his earlier papers on political theory (as opposed to the philosophy and sociology of law) was a critique of Marxist political theory in Great Britain in the mid-60s. for a time in the 1970s. Poulantzas had some influence in the Iberian peninsula as both Portugal and Spain experienced political renewal. Indeed. it was not so much Poulantzas who influenced Italian politics.Jessop!Poulantzas
even a 'selected works' series there.
. as 'Italian politics' which influenced Poulantzas. Likewise. By contrast it was the relative weakness of state theory in the anglophone world which made it easier for Poulantzas's work to penetrate there once interest began to develop in the 1960s and 1970s. as noted above. and Przeworski. It has had a direct and indirect impact through the debate he initiated on the structural determination of class and its contingent articulation with the position adopted by class forces in specific conjunctures. Conversely.U There is also a host of secondary analyses concerned with developing and applying these and related concepts of class location and struggle. throughout his most productive period of work on state theory. on the other hand. it seems that Poulantzas was widely read and discussed in Latin America. Finally. To single out only the most important works within the continuing debate we can mention studies by Carchedi. Wright.
the labour process. etc. For many other disciplines have become interested in questions of legal and state theory. Although these have a state-theoretical dimension they are not always directly related to state theory as such. both for Marxism in particular and for the Left in general. This has made the pioneering work of Marxist political theory in the sixties and seventies more marginal for contemporary theoretical work and has forced
. ecology. In political theory old problems (such as democracy) have been rediscovered and new issues have emerged (such as new social movements.Studies in Political Economy
Here his works on Fascism and Dictatorship and on the current forms of imperialism were as influential as his more general work on the state.) at the expense of state theoretical concerns as such. and feminism). Neither its internal crisis nor the shift of interest within Marxism imply that state theory is no longer relevant. This decline has four main causes: two internal to Marxism itself and two concerning the relation between Marxism and other theories. Second. A third reason for the decline of Marxist state theory is rooted in theoretical developments elsewhere. The Crisis and Decline of Marxist State Theory We must also note that. regulation theory. the crisis in capitalism over the last decade or so has also provoked a resurgence of interest in Marxist political economy (long wave theory. economic crisis theory. Marxist state theory itself has declined in importance. They do require state theorists to show that it can address these new issues and problems in a fruitful manner. This can be seen in the growing interest in discourse theory and its implications for Marxism and socialist politics. Thus Poulantzas's influence was mediated in different ways in different countries. They have drawn on and/or developed many different theoretical perspectives besides those embodied in Marxism.22 In addition. 2. in the years since Poulantzas's death. First. there have been significant shifts of interest. Marxism experienced a political and theoretical crisis in the seventies: this has been particularly strong in France but can also be seen in other countries which once had a strong communist movement. as Poulantzas himself recognised.
Indeed. This is not only because he is no longer
. In both respects measured appreciation of his work has been hindered by an ill-judged emphasis on his commitments to Althusserian structuralism. This occurred not just because of changing fashion among the more fickle aficionados of French theory (although this has clearly played a role) but also because Foucauldian disciplinary analyses and Derridean deconstruction inevitably displace the focus of attention from the state and class struggle to the micro-physics of power and the problem of identity formation. Poulantzas was well aware of the problematic unity of the state and the ambiguity and instability of its boundaries with other institutional orders in society.24 Finally. within state research itself.25 than because it is often presented in the form of a critique of Poulantzas's alleged 'society-centred' approach. Among those who would have been interested in Poulantzas's later work. the growing vogue for the work of Foucault (as well as deconstructionist and 'postmodern' theorists such as Derrida) has clearly reduced his impact.J essoplPoulantzas
Marxist theories to compete with other approaches for continued attention. as I have argued elsewhere. This so-called 'state-centred' approach deserves attention here less because of its coherence as an alternative account of the state. Foucault's account of power relations involves a number of problems which can be resolved by resorting to the arguments of the mature Poulantzas. although Poulantzas himself acknowledged the influence of Foucault.23 Likewise. In this specific theoretical context Poulantzas's work has been marginalized. a challenge has been mounted from what one might call a 'state-theoretical' position which is opposed to the 'capital-theoretical' and/or 'class-theoretical' traditions embodied in Marxism as well as to the pluralist and behaviouralist traditions in orthodox political science. Yet. he could still show that the latter's emphasis on the microphysics of power provided no theoretical or practical purchase on the complexities of political class domination and its mediation in and through the strategic selectivity of the state and the development of more global political projects. although he did not directly address the issues raised by deconstruction.
in describing the creative capacities of the state in constituting and reproducing the capitalist social order. It is also because he left no school behind to continue his work and because the continuing relevance of his work to such issues has been lost to view.Studies in Political Economy
around to engage in new debates and controversies as forcefully as he did in earlier matters for theoretical and political contestation. The initial success of the Miliband-Poulantzas debate surely has something to do with this. Poulantzas offered many observations on the state's role in shaping the overall spatial. in currently fashionable jargon. in his last book. For the apparently structuralist position he adopted therein has given rise to the impression that his work was. None of this should be taken to mean that Poulantzas came to abandon his earlier claim that the state as such did 92
. Thus he always stressed the impact of state forms and juridico-political ideology in shaping the nature of social and political forces and emphasized the role of state structures and capacities in maintaining the cohesion of society. directly or indirectly. It is certainly in this context that his work is largely cited today by the opposing supporters of the state-centred approach. Power. He also traced the potential autonomy of state managers or bureaucrats to the institutional separation of the state and the distinctive state identities and ideologies which emerged within different branches of the state apparatus. Poulantzas also touched on the issue of what Michael Mann has termed its "infrastructural power. and social order of capitalist societies."26 Indeed. State. In turn he related this to the decisive role of struggles for hegemony in capitalist societies. there is little to be said for the 'state-centred' theorists account of the work of Poulantzas. And. This is particularly clear in his account of its unique incarnation of mental labour within the overall division between mental and manual labour and in his more general discussion of the specificity of the legal and institutional form of the modern state. While there is much to be said for 'bringing the state back in'. Socialism. corporeal. temporal. many of the key issues raised by 'state-centred' studies. For Poulantzas did actually address. 'society-centred' as well as rigidly structurally determinist.
the state comprises an ensemble of centres which offer unequal chances to different forces within and outside the state to act for different political purposes. although the state system does have its own distinctive resources and powers. by insisting that the ways in which such powers (as well as any associated liabilities) are realized depends on the action.even assuming one could precisely define its institutional boundaries.e.but specific sets of politicians and state officials located in specific parts of the state system and confronting specific resistances from specific forces beyond the state. by delineating the various potential structural powers (or state capacities) inscribed in the state as institutional ensemble. State power is always already selective in class terms by virtue both of its structural selectivity and of the class character of the balance of forces. the state does not exercise power: its powers (in the plural) are activated through the agency of definite political forces in specific conjunctures. reaction.28 Furthermore. these structural powers or capacities and their realization cannot be understood by focusing on the state alone . and.whether in an 'infrastructural' or a 'despotic' mode . For. considered as an institutional ensemble rather than a real (or fictive) subject. It is not the state which acts . This is what it means to talk about the strategic selectivity of the state system. In short.Jessop/Poulantzas
not (and could not) exercise a "state power" independent from "class power. It is the interplay between them which both activates and limits specific powers and state capacities inscribed in particular institutions and agencies. This confirms the point made by Poulantzas that the state is a social relation. i. second. Poulantzas's
final account of the state often stressed this and thereby
. and interaction of specific social forces located both within and beyond this complex ensemble. This means that the powers
of th~state are alwa)'s conditional and relational. The balance of forces in turn can never be classneutral. "27 Instead he refined this argument in two ways: first.. that state power is an institutionally-mediated condensation of the changing balance of forces. Moreover. it also has distinctive liabilities as well as needs for resources which are produced elsewhere in its environment.
Poulantzas himself certainly did not develop all the implications of a 'state-centred' approach. This continuing 'actuality' rests on his contributions in four areas: his theory of the state as a social relation. Bringing the State Back In First. state-centred studies. his analysis of changing forms of the state (under the rubric of "authoritarian statism"). For not only did he neglect many issues central to the newly emergent 'state-theoretical' approach (such as the constitution of nation-states in and through the international state system or the role of military organization and warfare in the making and remaking of states) but he also rejected the assumption which seems to underpin much of this recent 'state-theoretical' work. Rather 94
. In so doing it also offered a superior alternative to more orthodox. then. his views on political parties and new social movements. that the state system is in some sense a subject and not merely a specific site or strategic field of action with distinctive properties. the state's role in reproducing the dominance of the capitalist mode of production. more structuralist analyses. namely. after all. In some respects. Poulantzas moved toward a statecentred account. and his discussion of the problems of the democratic transition to democratic socialism. Nonetheless Poulantzas was clearly not a 'state-centred' theorist in the sense attached to this label by its own partisans. It was certainly not the state's role in reproducing itself or the more general system of nation-states. 1. It is in this context above all that I would defend the superiority of Poulantzas's approach over that of many accounts currently jostling for buyers in the academic market place. His primary point of reference was.Studies in Political Economy
superseded his earlier. one could well argue that the concept of the state as a social relation offers a middle way between 'state-centred' and 'society-centred' approaches. The Actuality of Poulantzas Despite his declining influence. Indeed his work is often criticised for being heavily 'politicist' in character and for treating capitalist reproduction from a statist perspective. Poulantzas's work is still relevant to contemporary concerns.
there is a clear danger that a purely 'state-centred' approach would merely invert 'societycentred' approaches.J essop/Poulantzas
the strategic-theoretical approach adumbrated in his notion of the state as a social relation provides the theoretical means to relate both state. somewhat less elliptically. It is their strategic selectivity and distinctive capacities that enable state systems to determine (in part) the outcome of political actions. Without this approach. which lives off the state or politics. One can follow the spirit of his emerging approach to the state without embracing all of his often class-reductionist conclusions. 95
. that state power is an institutionallymediated expression of the changing balance of forces). according to Poulantzas. Poulantzas clearly treated the form of the state as sui generis and as having a distinctive impact on social and political organization.s? One should not substitute the logic of the state and the interests of state managers for the logic of capital and the interests of antagonistic classes. Even their distinct economic-corporate interests as a social category. could be differentiated.and society-centred analyses. Thus Poulantzas often stressed the links between the activities of state managers and specific class or fractional interests in society and their mediation through the changing balance of forces. Nor can one treat state managers as a unitary social category that can be isolated from social forces more generally. This does not mean that one should follow Poulantzas to the letter in his insistence that the relative autonomy of the state is always that degree of autonomy which is required to reproduce the dominance of capital in a given conjuncture. But the capacities of the state cannot be separated from the overall balance of forces in a given social formation. We should reject the false dilemma which requires one to argue
either that the state or society is primary: instead one should
follow Poulantzas in treating the state as a social relation. In arguing that the state is a social relation (or. There are obvious class reductionist dangers in this approach but it does have the merit of emphasising the need to calculate the class-relevance of even the independent actions of state managers. in terms of the overall structure and functions of the state apparatus.
its dominant 'state party' (whose function is to act as a transmission belt from the state to the people rather than from the people to the state). severely weakens the organic functioning of the party system (even where a plurality of parties survives intact). and a new. Certainly one should neither over-estimate the capacities of the state and its technologies of power nor underestimate 96
. But neither approach can be properly developed without detailed studies of how the state's own institutional forms. He argued that a new form of state was emerging ('authoritarian statism ') and his discussion is even more pertinent today than when it was first conceived."31 All this might seem alarmist. condition the changing character of the political forces (at a distance as well as inside the state). He argued that the basic developmental tendency in this new state form is
intensified state control over every sphere of socio-economic life combined with radical decline of the institutions of political democracy and with draconian and multi-form curtailment of so-called 'formal' liberties. Indeed Poulantzas actually claims that "all contemporary power is functional to authoritarian statism. This further undermines the already limited involvement of the masses in political decision-making.Studies in Political Economy
A 'state-centred' approach would then focus more on the state's role in the "form-determination" of social reproduction through its "infrastructural power" and its strategic selectivity. Poulantzas was particularly concerned with the political implications of recent trends in advanced capitalist states. with their specific capacities and vulnerabilities. anti-democratic ideology. and saps the vitality of democratic forms of political discourse.30
In general authoritarian statism involves enhanced roles for the executive branch. A New State Form in Modern Capitalism Second. a 'society-centred' approach would focus more on the changing balance of forces (including the role of state managers) which is condensed in and through the distinct structures and functions of the state. 2. Accordingly there are fewer obstacles to the continuing penetration of authoritarian-statist forms into all areas of social life.
political parties tend to lose their functions as the privileged interlocutors of the administration and as the leading forces in organizing hegemony. 7) parallel power networks cross-cutting the formal organization of the state have also grown . 2) the fusion between the three branches of the state . 6) linked to these shifts is the growth of new plebiscitary and populist forms of consent alongside new technocratic and/or neoliberal forms of legitimation. indeed. more specific features of this state form: 1) power is transferred from the legislature to the executive and the concentration of power within the latter . promote a growing material and ideological community of interest between key civil servants and the dominant mass party. increasingly draw both their agenda and symbolism from the administration and also experience a growing and multiform control at its hands.legislature. and publishing house to the mass media. paral97
.accelerates and is accompanied by a decline in the rule of law in favour of particularistic and discretionary regulation. 3) as their ties to the power bloc and the popular masses are weakened. which now play a key role in political legitimation and mobilization and. 8) a reserve repressive para-state apparatus has grown too. university. But this is no reason to ignore the general tendencies which Poulantzas identified.typically within the office of prime minister or executive president with the resultant appearance of personalistic rule. and judiciary . 4) this is reflected in a shift in the political significance of parties away from their traditional functions in elaborating policy through compromise and alliances around a party programme and in legitimating state power through electoral competition towards a more restricted role as the transmission belts for executive decisions as the administration itself assumes the legitimation functions traditionally performed by political parties. To give flesh to this bare description we can identify nine. 5) dominance within the ideological state apparatuses is displaced from the school.networks which exercise a decisive share in its activities.JessoplPoulantzas
capacities for resistance. and consolidate policy communities which cement dominant interests outside the state apparatus with forces inside at the expense of popular forces. executive.
32 In this context we should recall that Poulantzas distinguished among levels of analysis. he was also well aware that their realization and impact could vary.a form which he himself rejected and whose resulting incapacities he regretted.V Thus. To what degree authoritarian statism could be consolidated depended on measures taken to combat and resist it as much as to further it. Crises in Communist Politics and its Party Form In reflecting on the political and state crises of his time.Studies in Political Economy
lel to the main organs of the state and serving in a preemptive capacity to police popular struggles and other threats to bourgeois hegemony. while drawing attention to these general tendencies. for example. Thus he argued that communist and socialist parties in Europe had for too long been organized primarily as workers' parties and had focused on the contradictions of the productive apparatus (the factory) and the relatively homogeneous working conditions which characterized it during the industrial revolution and the Fordist era. 3. But the growing penetration of the state into all areas of everyday life and radical shifts in economic organization and activity provoked new forms of economic crisis. In tum this prompted a twofold division between parties and unions. Thus. new movements opposed to the impact of statism in civil society. at the very time when their 98
. and cross-class struggles located far from the site of production. He treated authoritarian statism as a new form of the capitalist state. Poulantzas clearly identified the problems inherent in the dominant form of socialist and communist party organization and its associated inability to forge links with new class forces and new social movements . more authoritarian in Germany. one which characterised metropolitan and dependent capitalist states alike. and 9) the dominant ideology has been reorganised by integrating certain liberal and libertarian themes from the sixties as well as displacing notions such as the general will and democracy in favour of instrumental rationality and technocratic 10gic. It could be associated with different forms of regime: more neoliberal in France. state and enterprise. Both the theoretical arguments and the political implications would merit further study.
4. Poulantzas did reveal aspects of these problems which are often neglected. and egoistic organizations). such changes could lead workers' parties down the populist road just as surely as refusing to change would isolate them in a few declining proletarian ghettoes. direct democracy and representative institutions. But I do want to highlight the currency of these issues and to note how they merit continued attention. Nor would I want to disguise the fact that his own conversion to this new strategic approach came late in the day and was not worked through in a full and consistent manner. Moreover. scattered resistances. This new strategy clearly posed dilemmas.J essoplPoutantzas
presence seemed to be necessary to guide political action. His guidelines for such a transition in99
. Indeed Poulantzas sometimes concluded that such a tension is an integral element in the dynamic of a democratic transition to democratic soclalism. The only feasible solution seemed to be to permit a certain irreducible tension between social movements and parties. it is worth looking again at Poulantzas's work. new links between the party and mass organizations. and isolated experiments (which could result in their degeneration into fragmented. internal democratization. and new types of linkage with the new social movements would resolve these crises.U It is no part of my argument to claim that Poulantzas solved these problems in practical terms nor that he was alone in identifying them on a theoretical plane. de-politicized. Likewise he noted the dangers of too close a link between the party and social movements (which could result in the latter's absorption into the party organization) as well as the risks of encouraging single microrevolts. the mass workers' parties were themselves weakened and thrown into crisis by these very same conditions. as Poulantzas repeatedly stressed. by locating them in a more general 'strategic-theoretical' framework and relating them to his arguments about the relational character of state power. Democratic Socialism and Eastern Europe Given the renewed interest in the problems of a democratic transition to democratic socialism. Poulantzas concluded that only new forms of party organization. For.
and initiatives. and c) the institutional structures of the state should be changed so that it loses many of its bureaucratic. He identified clear and present dangers in both representative democracy (with its statist tendencies) and direct democracy (with its tendencies towards egoism and fragmentation and thence to the dictatorship of the experts or statist despotism).without. and engage in struggles and campaigns at a distance from the state in order to increase leftward pressure on it. and administration in order to influence the exercise of its undoubted capacities and to help intensify the internal contradictions of the state so that its internal balance of forces was polarized leftward . rejecting any exclusive reliance on parliamentary change or on direct democracy. organizations.Studies in Political Economy
elude recommendations for institutional change as well as for political strategy. however. Indeed. Although there has recently been a spate of interest in detailed plans for socialism and how to get there.36 Although his analyses (presented not only in books and articles but also in many interviews) have been neglected. Poulantzas may well have been less concerned with the details but he did bring out the dangers of one-sided
. b) parties should engage in electoral politics. build their own self-help and subsidiary organizations. I would claim that they are still very pertinent. centralizing features and becomes progressively more accountable to the people. the details are often stressed to the detriment of the dilemmas and contradictions they involve. In relation to institutional design he advocated a 'third way'." In commenting both on issues of institutional design and political strategy Poulantzas continually emphasised the dilemmas and contradictions involved. parliamentary politics. This popular front should pursue a threefold strategy: a) rank-and-file movements should link together at the base. so weakening or paralyzing it that it could not intervene to protect and provide infrastructural support for popular movements. This was coupled with support for a supra-class popular front embracing new social movements as well as two or more political parties. he was far better at noting these dilemmas and contradictions than he was at proposing solutions to them. as I have noted elsewhere.
rhythms.38 Obviously the form and pace of decomposition or collapse have proved even greater in the Central and Eastern European states which were once in the iron grip of the Soviet (or simply Russian") empire. in a fine historical. But he does not acknowledge this affinity . Yet in both respects the approach adumbrated by Poulantzas would seem useful . For it is recent (and continuing) events in the East which demonstrate beyond a shadow of doubt that Poulantzas still has much to teach us.not as a simple grid to be imposed for the purpose of mechanically deciphering past and future events but as a heuristic framework for sensitizing us to relevant factors and mechanisms and indicating possible strategies.t?
To restrict our discussion to the West in this context.probably because he shares the same dismissive view of Poulantzas as so many of our contem-
poraries. To take just one recent illustration from many. 'actually existing' theories in the social sciences which fare well in the face of such rapid and disconcerting patterns of change.the events in Eastern Europe. It is simply to argue
. Thus it is not inappropriate to recall here that Poulantzas developed his relational approach to the state because his earlier theories were quite unable to explain the sudden decomposition or collapse of the military dictatorships in Southern Europe. even more self-evidently. and pace of change in Eastern Europe in 1989 and 1990 as well as its nature and direction have been truly astounding and almost wholly unexpected. they have already had much more radical implications for the resurgence of market ideologies and proposals for the reintroduction of international and domestic market forces. and theoretical work on democratic socialism presents many arguments reminiscent of those developed by Poulantzas. if any. philosophical. Many of his ideas are advocated (often without recognition that he ever worked on such themes) in the current literature on democracy and civil society.Jessop/Poulantzas
political solutions. The timing. however.let alone successfully theorized . And. is to belittle Poulantzas's actuality. There can be few. This is not to argue that Poulantzas himself anticipated . John Keane.
we might recall that Poulantzas stressed that the equally disappointing outcome of the revolutions in Greece. Portugal. needed to show how these factors interacted from case to case. The problems confronting de102
. A fuller analysis of the concrete (and rapidly changing) conjunctures in each country is. and to transform the state . Obviously the mass movements had to have conflicts to work on and the chronic economic crisis and the ageing of the party leaderships played a key role here.are as relevant to the democratic revolution in the East as they are in the West. within the existing state. and Spain stemmed from the Left's failure to hegemonize the struggle for democratization. destabilising and immobilising its repressive apparatus. regarding the turn towards neoliberalism in the aftermath of the collapse (at least outside the Soviet Union). Thus. of course. Poulantzas had emphasized the need for left forces to take the lead in formulating democratic demands. Since it was the transition to liberal democracy that defined the immediate horizon of action in Southern Europe and not the transition to socialism. Such struggles intensified the internal conflicts within the state apparatus . In particular the role of struggles at a distance from the state (even when they assume essentially peaceful forms and involve little more than .causing it to decompose.mass demonstrations or symbolic general strikes) in the collapse of state socialist regimes reveals how far the state apparatus and its personnel had become internally fissured and at odds with each other. and forcing the whole system on to the defensive.and what a lot this little word 'little' implies . Likewise. Failure on this score would mean that rightwing and statist forces would hegemonize the democratization process and thereby weaken the chances of later movement towards a democratic socialist future. we might note that the character of state power as a social relation and the importance of all political struggles .at a distance from the state.39 polarising its petty bureaucrats and communist party officials for and against mass demands. regarding the collapse or decomposition of these regimes.Studies in Political Economy
that employing his strategic-relational approach provides an excellent starting point for such a theorization.
Concluding Remarks In this article I have tried to assess the originality. Thus. are evident in Eastern Europe. And they are further complicated by the decomposition of the state apparatus as a possible source of support for rank-and-file initiatives and struggles at a distance from the state to maintain the leftward momentum of the transition process. they lacked the organizational and strategic capacities to hegemonize the struggle over democratization. Since his tragic death in 1979. Thus. political conditions are ripe for a gradual reimposition of bureaucratic. Although Poulantzas had a significant impact on the agenda of state theory in the 1970s his particular solutions to the problems he identified were far less often accepted. This is particularly clear in the rapid absorption of GDR into a unified Germany under the hegemony of West German capitalism. of course. authoritarian forms of government. Notwithstanding this decline (which is closely linked. This fact is reflected in his theoretical and political legacy. direct democracy and representative institutions.Jessop/Poulantzas
mocratic socialist forces in the Eastern European countries are even greater since their repressive. to the more general crisis of Marxist theory and communist political parties and. his legacy has become marginal in many areas. All the dilemmas and difficulties anticipated by Poulantzas in the attempts to link social movements and party organization. the legacy. I have
. bureaucratic statism had seriously weakened civil society. just as in the Southern European states studied by Poulantzas. I have also noted with regret that this originality has largely gone unrecognized. more recently still. while weak social movements could topple the internally fissured state socialist regimes. to the collapse of the Stalinist regimes in the Soviet Bloc). but the same story is unfolding in other East European countries as capitalist interests throw their weight behind rightwing and neoliberal forces. I believe that he was the most original postwar Western Marxist state theorist and I have suggested some reasons for this originality both in his location at the confluence of three very different theoretical currents and in quite specific political struggles. and the actuality of Poulantzas.
This was certainly a struggle worth fighting. and consciously aim to link theoretical analysis with issues of political strategy. as a source of political inspiration. It is more an issue of continuing the unfinished work of a basic theoretical revolution in Marxist analyses of the state.Studies in Political Economy
also argued that Poulantzas's work should still be treated with respect and serious consideration because the problems which he addressed are still actual and the arguments and ideas he proposed are still pertinent. to fill its gaps. Approached critically it can help us to make theoretical advances not only in terms of the more traditional 'society-centred' analyses but also in terms of the newer 'state-centred' analyses. for example. In conclusion. I am not of course advocating a passive acceptance of his work. it remains vital. although his theoretical work is sadly neglected today (apart from gestural references to the Miliband-Poulantzas debate. We should approach Poulantzas's work in the same critical spirit as he himself tackled his own studies and those of others: to appreciate its significant theoretical ruptures. in regulation theory) or on issues of ideology (a distinct theoretical object in Althusserian structuralism which has been steadily deconstructed under the impact of discourse analysis) are relatively underdeveloped. But we should also try to avoid that theoreticism which deforms and stultifies so much Marxist analysis. I would still claim that Poulantzas legacy is
. to develop it in new directions. Poulantzas himself fought long and hard for left unity in France and Greece and tried to provide the theoretical foundations for an effective strategy oriented to a democratic transition to democratic socialism under the conditions of contemporary capitalism. But we can consider his work as a crucial source in a continuous theoretical tradition concerned with the state. This is why I would conclude that Poulantzas's theory is both classical and contemporary. His approach on issues of political economy (as tackled more recently. And. There is no question here of instituting a cult of personality. to assess its relevance to new problems and theoretical currents. whose current relevance is close to zero).
13843. For a particularly scathing onslaught on Poulantzas for his alleged contribution to the demotion of the working class and the rise of a new "true" socialism. Political Power and Social Classes (London: NLB. 57-74. 1980) pp. "Is there a Crisis in Marxism?" Journal of the Hellenic Diaspora 6/iii (1979). pp. pp 7-16. The Retreat from Class: a New Trae' Sodalism (London: Verso. It would be wrong to ascribe this legacy solely to Poulantzas. "L'etat. pp. 1973 [orig. le parti. see E. 1. 1974]).Jessop/Poulantzas
valid and vital.M. in a more general movement towards left Eurocommunist political positions.Reply to Poulantzas. See especially Poulantzas. Le nouvel ordre interieur (Paris: Moreau. 1975 [orig. les mouvements sociaux. Woods. pp.
3. "The Problem of the Capitalist State" (1969) and "The capitalist state" (1976)." New Left Review 58 (1969). "Les theoriciens doivent retourner sur terre. State. November 1989. 1976 [2nd edn. 1978)." in Universite de Vincennes.' Prokla 37 (1979). "The Problem of the Capitalist State. to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the death of Nicos Poulantzas. Classes in Contemporary Capitalism (London: NLB." Marxism Today May 1979. size. 43 (1967). "Interview with Nicos Poulantzas. "La crise des partis. Power. The following is a chronologically ordered list of works by Nicos Poulantzas discussed or cited in this article: "Marxist Political Theory in Great Britain. Notes
This article was written for a conference held in Berlin. 63-83." New Left Review 82 (1973)." New Left Review 59 (1970). 1974 [orig. R." Les nouvelles litteraires 26 June 1978. and idem "Poulantzas and the Capitalist State. Socialism (London: Verso. "The capitalist state. and continuing primacy of the working class as well as the nature and political significance of the new middle classes. 1970]). "La deplacement des procedures de legitimation. He participated. pp. after all.
4. Crisis of the Dictatorships (London: NLB.
. "Es geht darum mit derStalinistischen Tradition zu brechen. It has been revised in the intervening year to take account of recent developments in Eastern Europe and in the light of friendly criticisms from the editors of SPE. Panicular thanks to Rianne Mahon for steering the article to its final publication. 67-78." New Left Review 95 (1976). pp. Miliband. "The Capitalist State ." New Left Review." Dialectiques 28 (1979). pp. 198-205. 53-60. pp. 83-92." Le Monde Diplomatique 26 September 1979. Perhaps one can continue it in other ways by participating in the general movement to which he contributed and from which he drew so much. 1968]).]). 19&5) pp. 127-40. 15-46. This was especially true regarding the exact boundaries. Fascism and Dictatorship (London: NLB.
In the Tracks of Historical Materialism (London: Verso 1983). Poulantzas. See also B. Cohen.
18. 16. from Gramsci's analysis of the state: he defined the state in its integral sense as political society plus civil society.
. 21. 1985) pp.
12. 38-41. State. pp. Indeed. But she overlooks the fact that Poulantzas used the concept of 'economic' in two senses: liberal market forces and the organization of production. Prezzolini. he always defined classes in terms of the social relations of economic exploitation. 1-6. Cf. P. of course. Wood also falsely accuses Poulantzas of suggesting that the state had acquired the dominant role in economic exploitation (pp. Nicos Poulantzas: Marxist Theory and Political Strategy (London: Macmillan.. 7. "Marxist Political Theory in Great Britain" (1967).). and control.). P. Jessop.. R. E.g. Cf.
20. Ideas from France: the Legacy of French Theory (London: Institute of Contemporary Arts. 11. Marxist Theory (Oxford: Oxford University Press. Poulantzas. "Les theoriciens doivent retoumer sur terre" (1978). 1-2.. Choice.A. Thus his analysis of displacement referred only to the relative demotion of free market forces in favour of the state's role in mediating the relations among private capitals in late capitalism. 1988). C. 14. Althusser. The Retreat from Class . 8. 1989) pp. B. ownership. A. Rationality. This phrase derives. with the exception of his overly politicized and ideologistic view of the petty bourgeoisie in Fascism and Dictatorship (1974 [orig.. 40-41). The Differentiation of Society (New York: Columbia University Press. Carchedi. 1978) p." Economy Qnd Society 411 (1915). Likewise Poulantzas analyzes classes from the viewpoint of their expanded reproduction.
13. Anderson. 10. Hindess.. Wood. 1982). he stressed that other institutional orders (notably the state) were deeply involved in reproducing the social relations of production.. "On the Economic Identification of the New Middle Class. Considerations on Western Marxism (London: Verso. 103. 190. 1970]). At the same time. 84-87. 1969).. See L. Hindess. 1989). Rationality. N. Jessop. On this see Jessop.. Nicos Poulantzas: Marxist Theory . 17. 1976) p.. 1985). 30-31. Socialism (1978). Power. and Action (London: Unwin Hyman. J. Karl Marx's Theory of History (London: Oxford University Press. 1967) p. For a fuller account. Roemer. Classes in Contemporary Capitalism (1975 [orig. 19.' in L.
B. pp. 15. Appignanesi (00. 9. Reclaiming Reality (London: Verso. "The non-structuralist legacy of Nicos Poulantzas. ix. Callinicos (ed. Machiavelli (London: Robert Hale.Studies in Political Economy
5. Analytical Marxism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1986) pp. Jessop. Cf. G. Anderson. Nicos Poulantzas: Marxist Theory . Nicos Poulantzas: Marxist Theory . Bhaskar. For Marx (London: Allen Lane. Luhmann. This tradition emphasized the fusion ofthe state and monopoly capital into a single mechanism of economic exploitation and political domination to the detriment not only of the popular masses but also of non-monopoly capital. see Jessop. however. 1974]).
Jessop. "Proletariat into a Class: the process of class formation from Karl Kautsky's The Class Struggle to recent controversies. idem. State. le parti" (1979). pp 343-402.. 37. 187-213. Jessop. Socialism (1978). Poulantzas. Evans et al. Class.
24. Wright. Power. 25. 101·151." Archives Europeennes de Sociologie 25 (1983). "L'etat. Cf. 3-37. State. Crisis. p. 1985). Laclau. Hegemony and Socialist Politics (London: Verso.
. 31. "Interview with Nicos Poulantzas" (1979). "Bringing the State Back In: Strategies of Analysis in Current Research.
33. J. 1988) pp." in P. 23. 1978). idem. 34. Laclau and C. les mouvements sociaux. Cf. "The Autonomous Power of the State. Socialism (1978). On the absence of which. see Jessop.. pp. 28. Jessop. Skocpol.. A.
Choice. to stress the unexpected nature of their collapse. "Es geht darum mit der Stalinistischen Tradition zu brechen" (1979). Poulantzas. E. "L'etat.. Cf.. Jessop. To the extent. E. State Theory . "Interview with Nicos Poulantzas" (1979). pp. E. Ibid. cf." Politics and Society 7/4 (1977). E. and Action. Nicos Poulantzas: Marxist Theory .. Mann. and idem. Nlcos Poulantzas: Marxist Theory . T. Socialism (1978). Cf. Democracy and Civil Society (London: Verso. "Interview with Nicos Poulantzas" (1979).. "Is there a Crisis in Marxism?" (1979). le parti" (1979).). idem.g. 38.B.. Bringing the State Back In (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Power. rather. "Es geht darum mit der Stalinistischen Tradition zu brechen" (1979). 35. "Es geht darum mit der Stalinistischen Tradition zu brechen" (1979).. 1990). Nicos Poulantzas: Marxist Theory . 29. "La crise des partis" (1979). See. 239.O. ibid.. 203-4.
36. see ibid. See Poulantzas. Przeworski. State.
39. that unarmed civilians can storm secret police headquarters in search of evidence of corruption. Idem. and the State (London: Verso. State Theory . 27. For a critique of Poulantzas's views on these regimes. M. les mouvements sociaux. 32. (eds. Politics and Ideology in Marxist Theory (London: NLB. Power. Keane.Jessop/Poulantzas
22.. Mouffe. 26. Political Power and Social Classes (1968). 1978). "La crise des partis" (1979). indeed. State Theory: Putting Capitalist States in Their Place (Cambridge: Polity. "La deplacemem des procedures de legitimation" (1980). 1985) pp. for example. This is not the place to discuss whether these regimes are best described as 'military' dictatorships: the point is.