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Boundaries of the State In Us History$
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James T. Sparrow, William J. Novak, and Stephen W. Sawyer

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226277646

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226277813.001.0001

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The Concept of the State in American History

The Concept of the State in American History

(p.325) Conclusion The Concept of the State in American History
Boundaries of the State In Us History

William J. Novak

University of Chicago Press

This chapter draws attention to the vital role of interdisciplinary perspectives in law, history, sociology, and political science in redirecting our understanding of the origins, development, and nature of the American state. It highlights the particularly formative role of an emerging theoretical literature concerning the character of statecraft in modern democratic regimes. The paper begins with an acknowledgment of the difficulty of the state concept as articulated in the diverse contributions of American history, political sociology, and American Political Development. It goes on to question the predominance of the essentially bureaucratic and Weberian model of the state that has governed thinking about and controlled discussion of the American state for the last two generations. It concludes by using the interdisciplinary perspectives that have recently emerged in socio-legal studies in the United States to generate an alternative approach to American state development that takes account of the nature of democratic rule as well as the fungibility of the state/society boundary.

Keywords:   US political history, political sociology, American Political Development (APD), legal history, policy history, law and society

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