States and Citizens: History, Theory, Prospects

The imminent demise of the nation-state in the face of global capitalism and supra-national agencies like the United Nations has often been predicted, yet in practice the death of the state seems unimaginable: indeed terrorist activity and corporate collapse have made states, if anything, more assertive in recent years, and the condition of ‘statelessness’ is regarded as pitiable and grave in the extreme. This volume offers a coherent survey of perceptions of the state, its history, its theoretical underpinnings, and its prospects in the contemporary world. The coverage of the Western European experience is thorough and wide-ranging, with the greatest post-colonial democratic state, India, as a comparative example. The provocative and accessible contributions of a very distinguished and genuinely pan-European team of contributors ensure that States and Citizens provides a unique and valuable resource, of interest to students and teachers of the history of ideas, political theory and European studies. Professer Skinner has been awarded the Balzan Prize Life Time Achievement Award for Political Thought, History and Theory. Full details of this award can be found at

• Renowned editorial and contributor team on a subject of massive current interest • Genuinely international, with contributions by senior scholars from across Europe • Coherent, integrated, and very accessible - Skinner’s introductory chapter will be much read, cited and discussed by students from upper-undergraduate level upwards


Introduction; Part I. States and Citizens: Setting the Scene: 1. States and the freedom of citizens Quentin Skinner; 2. The concept of the state: the sovereignty of a fiction David Runciman; 3. Citizens and the state: retrospect and prospect Gianfranco Poggi; Part II. The Medieval Background: 4. Freedom, law and the Medieval state Magnus Ryan; 5. States, cities and citizens in the later Middle Ages Almut Høfert; Part III. Early-modern Developments: 6. The state and its rivals in early-modern Europe Martin van Gelderen; 7. The development of the idea of citizens’ rights Annabel Brett; Part IV. Citizens, States and Modernity: 8. Enlightenment’s differences, today’s identities Judith Vega; 9. Citizen and state under the French Revolution Lucian Jaume; 10. A state of contradictions: political power in modern India Sudipta Kaviraj; Part V. After the Modern State: 11. The state and its critics: is there a post-modern challenge? Bo Stråth; 12. Citizenship and equality of the sexes: the French model in question Michele Riot Sarcey; 13. States, citizens and the environment Andy Dobson.


\'… provides a remarkably unified perspective on the state …\'. Contemporary Political Theory