Jens Bartelson


Jens Bartelson is blowing my mind; his Critique of the state is a great book, and surprisingly concise.

What I like the most out of this book is that it manages to do what so many other books about the state do not or cannot, and that is that it links our conceptual ideas about states and statehood to the question of pondering an alternative to state authority or practical alternatives for the role of the state in contemporary society. Of course, the author shifts seamlessly between discussion of political theory, international relations, and even political philosophy, but the real value in this book (apart from being a great tour through the halls of state theory wherein Jens is its careful curator and our guide) is the shift from theory to pratical matters.

The closest thing to getting us to a theory on political performativity that I have seen…

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About Nicholas

Associate Professor of Sociology, Environmental Studies, and Science and Technology Studies at Penn State, Nicholas mainly writes about understanding the scientific study of states and, thus, it is namely about state theory. Given his training in sociology and STS, he takes a decidedly STS-oriented approach to state theory and issues of governance.

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