Political Sociology

  1. What is the difference between understanding the state primarily through the lens of the concept of
    modernity, as the followers of Weber and Durkheim tend to see it, and through the lens of capitalism as the
    followers of Marx see it?
  2. Explain why the capital-labor relation is so central to understanding the role of the state in capitalist society ?
  3. What, according to Ellen Meiksins Wood are the key processes that led to transition to the capitalist nationstate ?
  4. What is so important about Gramsci’s contribution to understanding the nature of the capitalist state,
    particularly in advanced capitalist societies?
  5. What was Michel Foucault’s major challenge to Marxist state theory? How does his approach to
    understanding power in society more generally change the way we think about the nature of state power?
  6. What does it mean to characterize the state as gendered? How is this articulated with a Marxist analysis of
    the state?
  7. What makes many of the key capitalist states, including Canada, ‘racialized states’? How does this relate to
    the concept of settler colonialism? Using contemporary examples, explain how the racialized nature of the
    modern capitalist state has an impact on the eveyday lives of racialized populations.
  8. How can a Marxist theorization of the state help to understand the rise of Authoritarian populism (such as
    seen in the US, Brazil, Hungary, the Philippines and arguably the UK)? How can this provide a guide to a
    political strategy of resistance to this threat to democracy and social justice?
  9. How can we use state theory to understand the varied response to the COVID-19 pandemic? What are the
    implications for future emergencies of this type?

Sample Solution