The Mythological State and its Empire

By David Grant

© 2008 – Routledge

294 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415542395
pub: 2012-10-10
US Dollars$46.95
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Hardback: 9780415988759
pub: 2008-08-25
US Dollars$140.00
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About the Book

We see the modern State as the most rational form of governing yet devised, and one which properly recognises our inherent individual rights. However, as the histories of colonialism and imprisonment reveal, it is also an intruder into the lives of generally unwilling individuals, constraining rights.

This book looks beneath the contradiction to see an entity willingly sustained by all individuals and for which we forgo our responsibility to and for ourselves. We place ourselves in the hands of those interests that promise to deal with our fears and desires the best.

Probing the work of political thinkers from Hobbes to Rawls, the book discovers a State that is a real, mythological entity, spreading across social and geographic space and concerned first with satisfying our two passions. Understanding this mythology may allow reason to emerge from its service to fear and desire, so that the modern State could become truly modern.

This book will be of interest to scholars in Sociology, Politics, Philosophy, and Law.

Table of Contents

Preface. Acknowledgments. Part I: The Nature of Political Mythology 1. Introduction 2. The Past as a Figure of the Present and Future Part II: Establishment and Refinement 3. The Leviathan, the Calling and their Separation 4. Imagining a General Will 5. The Reason of Protestant Politics Part III: Modernisation 6. Reason and the Myth of Justice 7. The Liberalism of the Market 8. Freedom is the State 9. Defending the State against Scepticism Part IV: Embodiment 10. The State as Civilisation 11. Governmentality, The Market and Liberalism. Notes. References. Index.

About the Author

David Grant received his PhD at the Faculty of Law at the University of New South Wales. He currently works as a government consultant in Sydney.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Social and Political Thought

This series explores core issues in political philosophy and social theory. Addressing theoretical subjects of both historical and contemporary relevance, the series has broad appeal across the social sciences. Contributions include new studies of major thinkers, key debates and critical concepts.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POL000000
POLITICAL SCIENCE / General
POL007000
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / Democracy
SOC026000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General