Towards a political ontology of state power : A comment on Colin Hay's article

Jessop, Bob (2014) Towards a political ontology of state power : A comment on Colin Hay's article. British Journal of Sociology, 65 (3). pp. 481-486. ISSN 0007-1315

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This article offers some critical realist, strategic-relational comments on Colin Hay's proposal to treat the state as an 'as-if-real' concept. The critique first develops an alternative account of ontology, which is more suited to analyses of the state and state power; it then distinguishes the 'intransitive' properties of the real world as an object of investigation from the 'transitive' features of its scientific investigation and thereby provides a clearer understanding of what is at stake in 'as-if-realism'; and it ends with the suggestion that a concern with the modalities of state power rather than with the state per se offers a more fruitful approach to the genuine issues raised in Hay's article and in his earlier strategic-relational contributions to political analysis.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
British Journal of Sociology
Additional Information:
This is the peer reviewed version of the following article:Jessop, B. (2014), Towards a political ontology of state power. The British Journal of Sociology, 65: 481-486. doi:10.1111/1468-4446.12087 which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? critical realismfallacy of misplaced concretenessontologystatestate powerstrategic-relational approachsociology and political science ??
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Deposited On:
22 Oct 2018 10:34
Last Modified:
14 Jun 2024 01:14