chapter  6
34 Pages

The State and the Class Struggle: Dynamics Restored?

WithAxel van dm Berg

Nicos Poulantzas came to conceive of the capitalist state "as the condensate of a relation of power between struggling classes", which is, thus, "structurally shot through and constituted with and by class contradictions". Esping-Andersen, Friedland, and Wright offer an alternative view of the state which they call the "political class struggle" approach. The political struggles of the working class gains analytical importance absent from the "instrumental corporate liberal" and the "structuralist" approaches. The "political class struggle" approach of Esping-Andersen, Friedland, and Wright asserts that the structures of the state are the result of struggles between two classes, the capitalist class and the working class. Fred Block rejects the "instrumentalist" or "corporate liberal" approach because it "exaggerates the capacity of corporate capitalism to rationalize itself through the use of the state", and it has a "tendency to ignore how much reforms are forced on capitalism from below".