Hoffman discusses various critiques of the state, focusing on liberalism, anarchism, marxism, feminism and postmodernism, and shows how these highlight the need for us to look for alternative forms of political organization. But he also suggests that a distinction should be made between the "state" and "government", arguing that such a distinction holds the key to evaluating these alternative critiques.
Finally, he shows how developments such as the emergence of supra–statest organizations, and the supplanting of repressive and hierarchical institutions of the state by processes of democratic government within international and local communities, point to a world beyond the state. The book is an accessible yet challenging introduction to the state and state theory. It will be welcomed by students in politics and political theory, political philosophy, sociology and international relations.
Part I: Identifying the Problem:.
2. Can the State be Defined ?.
3. Force, State and Government.
4. When Does the State Become the State ?.
5. The State as Contradiction.
6. The Problem of Legitimacy.
Part II: Challenges and Alternative Critiques:.
Part III: The Practical Implications of the Critique: .
12. International Society.
13. Democracy and the Movement Beyond the State.
"His book is shaped around a discussion of some of the major contributions to the debate over the nature of the state, the character of legitimacy, and the characteristics of international society. Rather like a restrained gallery guide who none the less has clear opinions of his own when pointing out the pictures, Hoffman presents his own views by means of a discussion of the rival exhibits." Times Literary Supplement
"John Hoffman has written a thoughtful and thought provoking account of the state and of the possibilities of its transcendence ... A welcome antidote." Political Studies
"Thought–provoking ... Hoffman′s argument is well crafted and bold." Political Geography
"[A] challenging introductory critique of the idea of the state. It is well researched and written in a style accessible to the non–specialist." Studies in Marxism
"Beyond the State promises to be a thought provoking new book." Leicester Mercury