chapter  9
THE LOCAL STATE AND THE JUDICIARY: INSTITUTIONS IN AMERICAN SUBURBIA
Pages 34

Thecrucialroleofthestateintheregulationof economicandsociallife,andthusinthecreation, maintenanceandalterationofspatialstructures, hasonlyrecentlybeenappreciatedbygeographers (Cox,1980;Johnston,1979;1981a;inpress; BurnettandTaylor,1981).Empiricalrealisation hasbeenassociatedwiththeoreticalspeculation concerningthenatureofthestate,asgeographers seektounderstandthewhyandwhereofstate activity(DearandClark,1978;1981;Dear,1981). Incorporationofthepoliticalelementisnecessary, itisargued,forafullappreciationoftheforces structuringthegeographyoflatecapitalist SOCletles.I

Theoreticalwritingsonthestateadvancea varietyofinterpretationsofitsnatureand functions(seeGreenberg,1979;Saunders,1979; Dunleavy,1980;Johnston,1982a).Thestructuralistinterpretation,whichisacceptedhere,is thatthestateexistsi,nacapitalistsocietyto maintainthenecessaryconditionsforcapital accumulationandtherelatedsocialformation.To dothis,accordingtoO'Connor(1973;seealso Saunders,1979),thestateisinvolvedinthree typesofactivityandexpenditure:(1)social investmentinprojectsthatwillenhancelabour productivityandtherebysustainprivatecapital accumulation;(2)socialconsumption,whichreduces thecosttocapitalofthereproductionofthe labourforcebyeitherprovidingorsubsidisingthe materialandculturalconditionsofexistence;and (3)socialexpensesonthemaintenanceofharmony.