chapter  15
The changing role of the state
Pages 19

The state is a system of relationships which defines the territory and membership of a community, regulates its internal affairs, conducts relations with other states (by peaceful and by warlike means) and provides it with identity and cohesion. It consists of institutions and processes which are extremely various and complex, presiding over different spheres of the community which distribute different social goods according to different principles . . . the state is not a monolithic body . . . in fact it is not a body at all. From one point of view, the state is society's way of controlling itself, and making sure that others do not control it. From another, it is a sort of protection racket which claims a monopoly over the use of force.2