Rowman and Littlefield International
The Modern State Subverted

The Modern State Subverted

Risk and the Deconstruction of Solidarity

By Di Giuseppe Di Palma

Publication Date: Nov 2013

Pages 136

ECPR Press

Paperback 9781907301636
£16.00 €22.00 $24.95

Until recently, liberalism was, according to Karl Polanyi, embedded within civil society, working closely with a democratic state intent on addressing, in solidarity, the social risks associated with modern capitalism. Modern relations between society and the state have been, at best, ones of shared language and goals rather than necessary conflict. Already under the polizeistaat, absolutist rulers took, in their own way, the care of their population as central to their rule. The welfare state was only the most innovative embodiment of such collective concerns. Today's neoliberalism is, to the contrary, a subversion of liberal embeddedness. It is the utopia of market fundamentalism intent, by the power of its perversity narrative of the past, on replacing socially embedded market and government with a dispiriting, socially isolating Malthusian project.


Acknowledgements vii

Chapter One: The State and Civil Society: Revisiting the Past,

Assessing the Present 1

Chapter Two: Social Risk in Early Modernity: Solidarity as Precaution 11

Chapter Three: The Century of the Social State 21

Chapter Four: Social Risk in an Era of Uncertainty: The Dismantling of

Solidarity 33

Chapter Five: Toward the Criminalisation of the Other 55

Chapter Six: Selling Out State and Law 67

Chapter Seven: Old and New Risks: Neoliberalism’s Precautionary

Opportunism 75

Chapter Eight: Challenges to Neoliberalism? 93

Chapter Nine: The Future? Ask Me Later 105

Bibliography 113

Index 119

Giuseppe Di Palma is emeritus professor of Political Science, University of California at Berkeley, where he has taught since 1964. He has written on political behaviour (Apathy and Participation, 1970), on Italian politics (Surviving without Governing, 1977), on transitions to democracy, and on democratic theory (To Craft Democracies, 1990). In the years since his retirement he has turned his attention to the American political system and American politics, and to the role of ideas and narratives in politics.

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