State in Society

Studying How States and Societies Transform and Constitute One Another
  • Author:
  • Joel S. Migdal
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Date: 2001

The essays in this book trace the development of Joel Migdal’s “state-in-society” approach. The essays situate the approach within the classic literature in political science, sociology, and related disciplines but present a new model for understanding state-society relations. It allies parts of the state and groups in society against other such coalitions, determines how societies and states create and maintain distinct ways of structuring day-to-day life, the nature of the rules that govern people’s behavior, whom they benefit and whom they disadvantage, which sorts of elements unite people and which divide them, and what shared meaning people hold about their relations with others and their place in the world.

  • A social science approach for understanding state-society relations, particularly, who dominates in society?
  • An alternative definition of the state
  • A process-oriented approach, emphasizing the effects of ongoing struggles over whose rules, and which rules, will predominate