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Palgrave Macmillan

Max Weber's Theory of the Modern State

Origins, structure and Significance

ISBN 9781137364890
Publication Date February 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

Andreas Anter reconstructs Max Weber's fragmentary theory of the modern state showing its relationship to contemporary theories and its significance for today's political science. The book consists of six chapters: The first analyses Weber's concept of the state, the second relates the theory of the state to the sociology of rule and domination, the third and fourth discuss Weber's hermeneutics and his doctrine of value-judgements, the fifth deals with the history of the modern state, and the final chapter focuses on Weber's metaphor of the state as 'machine'. Anter reveals the ambivalence of Weber's political thought: the oscillation between an étatiste position, mainly oriented to the reason of state, and an individualistic one, focussed on the freedom of individuals. He shows how much worse off we would be without Weber's theory, not at least by indicating its impact upon later authors.

Andreas Anter is Professor of Political Science at the University of Erfurt, Germany. After his studies in Münster, Freiburg and Hamburg, and his PhD in Hamburg, he taught Political Science at the Universities of Hamburg, Leipzig and Bremen. Subsequently he was editor of Rowohlt Verlag and chief editor of Reclam Verlag Leipzig. He is the author of Die Macht der Ordnung (2nd ed. 2007), Theorien der Macht (2nd ed. 2013) and Staatskonzepte (2013).

1. Introduction
2. Aspects of the Concept of the State
3. State and Rulership
4. Hermeneutics of the State
5. Theory of the State and the Doctrine of Value Judgements
6. Archaeology of the Modern State
7. The State as a Machine
8. Concluding Remarks


'Max Weber's Theory of the Modern State is so good that it ought to be required reading for anyone who is interested in Weber's political thinking. Anter is right that Weber often approaches his topics with a 'yes—but'; regarding the quality of Anter's book, there is no 'but'—only a 'yes''. – Christopher Adair-Toteff for Theory, Culture & Society
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