Rethinking the State: How Necessary is a Farewell to Max Weber?

Hans-Jürgen Burchardt, University of Kassel

Our understanding of the modern State is being called into question by the global rise in nationalism, exclusion, authoritarianism, and protectionism, which are already shaping the agendas of influential states. Social scientists and political elites have struggled to respond adequately to these challenges, rejecting these rising political patterns more by negation (as anti-liberal or pre-modern) rather than using them as a cause for reflection on the predominant political understanding. This article proposes a more productive engagement with these trends through examining the usefulness of the ideas of one of the most important state theoreticians, Max Weber.

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