The Democratic State

Edited by Roger Benjamin and Stephen L. Elkin

One outcome of the declining economic growth and rising political conflict of the 1980s has been a renewed interest in political theory and increased questioning about the durability of the capitalist state. More and more political scientists are critically assessing the prevailing pluralist vision of the relationships between the state and the economy. Is the capitalist state able to adjust to crises and contradictions? What is the role of the state in changing—deteriorating—economic circumstances? How should we understand competing interpretations on the relative autonomy of the state, the nature of property rights, the legitimation crisis?

This collection of five original essays by seven of the best-known political-economy theorists addresses the interconnections between the economy and the polity and embodies the leading theoretical approaches to the political economy of the state.

“The volume (with index and extensive bibliography) is thought provoking.


“Belongs in all academic libraries.

—American Political Science Review

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About the Author

Roger Benjamin was president of the Council for Aid to Education (CAE) from 2005 to 2019 and was formerly provost of the University of Minnesota and the University of Pittsburgh. He has authored, coauthored, or co-edited nine books, including The Democratic Purposes of Education and The New Limits of Education Policy: Avoiding a Tragedy of the Commons.

Stephen L. Elkin is professor emeritus of government and politics at the University of Maryland and founding editor of the journal The Good Society. He is the author or editor of seven books, including Reconstructing the Commercial Republic: Constitutional Design after Madison.

Additional Titles in the Studies in Government and Public Policy Series