Edited by Emilios Christodoulidis, Ruth Dukes and Marco Goldoni
Chapter 7: Critical theory of the state
Critical state theoretical perspectives on law address the differentiation and articulation of constitutional, private and public law with the state, civil society and capitalist market economy. Adopting a strategic-relational approach, this chapter focuses on five representative critical theorists: Karl Marx, Evgeny Pashukanis, Antonio Gramsci, Nicos Poulantzas and Michel Foucault. Key issues for all five included the historical specificity of the state and law in capitalist formations; the institutional boundaries of the state (including the division between the public and private spheres) and the capitalist market economy; the relation between the form and functions of the state and law in normal and crisis periods; the relation between legality and illegality in the exercise of state power; and the implications of historical and recent changes in capitalism and its contradictions, crisis tendencies and conflicts for the changing form and content of law and state power.
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