The Oxford Handbook of Political Institutions
835 pág.

The Oxford Handbook of Political Institutions


DisciplinaCiências Políticas e Teoria do Estado622 materiais7.849 seguidores
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strategies, and institutions. In short, power is not concentrated in the state: it is
ubiquitous, immanent in every social relation (see notably Foucault 1980a,b).
Nonetheless Foucault did not reject all concern with the macrophysics of state
power. He came to see the state as the crucial site of statecraft and \u2018\u2018governmen-
tality\u2019\u2019 (or governmental rationality). What interested him was the art of govern-
ment, a skilled practice in which state capacities were used reXexively to monitor
the population and, with all due prudence, to make it conform to speciWc state
projects. Raison d\u2019e´tat, an autonomous political rationality, set apart from religion
and morality, was the key to the rise of the modern state. This in turn could be
linked to diVerent modes of political calculation or state projects, such as those
coupled to the \u2018\u2018police state\u2019\u2019 (Polizeistaat), social government, or the welfare state.
It was in and through these governmental rationalities or state projects that more
local or regional sites of power were colonized, articulated into ever more general
mechanisms and forms of global domination, and then maintained by the entire
state system. Foucault also insisted on the need to explore the connections between
these forms of micropower and mechanisms for producing knowledge\u2014whether
for surveillance, the formation and accumulation of knowledge about individuals,
or their constitution as speciWc types of subject.
Foucault never codiWed his work and changed his views frequently. Taking his
ideas on the ubiquity of power relations, the coupling of power-knowledge, and
120 bob jessop
governmentality together, however, he oVers an important theoretical and empir-
ical corrective to the more one-sided and/or essentialist analyses of Marxist state
theory and to the taken-for-grantedness of the state that infuses neostatism. But his
work remains vulnerable to the charge that it tends to reduce power to a set of
universally applicable power technologies (whether panoptic surveillance or
disciplinary normalization) and to ignore how class and patriarchal relations
shape the state\u2019s deployment of these powers as well as the more general exercise
of power in the wider society. It also neglects the continued importance of law,
constitutionalized violence, and bureaucracy for the modern state. Moreover,
whatever the merits of drawing attention to the ubiquity of power, his work
provided little account of the bases of resistance (bar an alleged \u2018\u2018plebeian\u2019\u2019 spirit
of revolt). More recent Foucauldian studies have tried to overcome these
limitations and to address the complex strategic and structural character of the
state apparatus and statecraft and the conditions that enable the state to engage in
eVective action across many social domains.
6 Feminist Approaches
.........................................................................................................................................................................................
While feminists have elaborated distinctive theories of the gendering of social
relations and provide powerful critiques of malestream political philosophy and
political theory, they have generally been less interested in developing a general
feminist theory of the state. In part this reXects their interest in other concepts that
are more appropriate to a feminist theoretical and political agenda and their
concern to break with the phallocratic concerns of malestream theory (Allen
1990; MacKinnon 1989). The main exception in the Wrst wave of postwar state
theorizing was Marxist\u2013feminist analyses of the interaction of class and gender in
structuring states, state intervention, and state power in ways that reproduce both
capitalism and patriarchy. Other currents called for serious analysis of the state
because of its centrality to women\u2019s lives (e.g. Brown 1992). This is reXected in
various theories about diVerent aspects of the state (Knutilla and Kubik 2001
compare feminist with classical and other state theories).
Some radical feminist theories simply argued that, whatever their apparent
diVerences, all states are expressions of patriarchy or phallocracy. Other feminists
tried to derive the necessary form and/or functions of the patriarchal state from the
imperatives of reproduction (rather than production), from the changing forms
of patriarchal domination, from the gendered nature of household labor in the
\u2018\u2018domestic\u2019\u2019 mode of production, and so on. Such work denies any autonomy or
state and state-building 121
contingency to the state. Others again try to analyze the contingent articulation of
patriarchal and capitalist forms of domination as crystallized in the state. The best
work in this Weld shows that patriarchal and gender relations make a diVerence to
the state but it also refuses to prejudge the form and eVects of this diVerence.
Thus, \u2018\u2018acknowledging that gender inequality exists does not automatically imply
that every capitalist state is involved in the reproduction of that inequality in the
same ways or to the same extent\u2019\u2019 (Jenson 1986). An extensive literature on the
complex and variable forms of articulation of class, gender, and ethnicity in
particular state structures and policy areas has since revealed the limits of gender
essentialism. This \u2018\u2018intersectional\u2019\u2019 approach has been taken further by third wave
feminists and queer theorists, who emphasize the instability and socially con-
structed arbitrariness of dominant views of sexual and gender identities and
demonstrate the wide variability of masculine as well as feminine identities and
interests. Thus there is growing interest in the constitution of competing, incon-
sistent, and even openly contradictory identities for both males and females, their
grounding in discourses about masculinity and/or femininity, their explicit or
implicit embedding in diVerent institutions and material practices, and their
physico-cultural materialization in human bodies. This has created the theoretical
space for a revival of explicit interest in gender and the state, which has made major
contributions across a broad range of issues\u2014including how speciWc constructions
of masculinity and femininity, their associated gender identities, interests, roles,
and bodily forms, come to be privileged in the state\u2019s own discourses, institutions,
and material practices. This rules out any analysis of the state as a simple expression
of patriarchal domination and questions the very utility of patriarchy as an
analytical category.
The best feminist scholarship challenges key assumptions of \u2018\u2018malestream\u2019\u2019 state
theories. First, whereas the modern state is commonly said to exercise a legitimate
monopoly over the means of coercion, feminists argue that men can get away with
violence against women within the conWnes of the family and, through the reality,
threat, or fear of rape, also oppress women in public spaces. Such arguments have
been taken further in recent work on masculinity and the state. Second, feminists
critique the juridical distinction between \u2018\u2018public\u2019\u2019 and \u2018\u2018private.\u2019\u2019 For, not only does
this distinction obfuscate class relations by distinguishing the public citizen from
the private individual (as Marxists have argued), it also, and more fundamentally,
hides the patriarchal ordering of the state and the family. Whilst Marxists tend to
equate the public sphere with the state and the private sphere with private property,
exchange, and individual rights, feminists tend to equate the former with the state
and civil society, the latter with the domestic sphere and women\u2019s alleged place in
the \u2018\u2018natural\u2019\u2019 order of reproduction. Men and women are diVerentially located in
the public and private spheres: indeed, historically,