Everyday Life and the State, Peter Bratsis, Boulder: Paradigm Publishers, 2006

In: Historical Materialism
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  • 1 University of Vienna

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Abstract

The present review essay discusses Peter Bratsis’s work Everyday Life and the State (). It is argued that Bratsis produces a sound contribution to the on-going debate on state theory, which has its particular strengths in the innovative treatment of the public-private divide and an elaborate critique of fetishistic and ideological relations in the field of the political. In this, Bratsis builds on a broad range of structuralist, poststructuralist and dialectical positions. Deficiencies of his work are likewise to be found in this bricolage of theoretical approaches: it is argued that conflicting epistemological and ontological fundamentals are not sufficiently taken into account, which consequently leads to reductionist and errant conclusions. This is especially evident in the confusion of ‘structuralist’ and ‘dialectical’ heuristics, which leads to an insufficiently materialist picture of the state in relation to ‘everyday life’.

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  • 1.

    Jessop 2002; Hirsch 2005.

  • 2.

    For the German debate, cf. Demirovic 2007, Kannankulam 2008. For recent English publications cf. Barrow 1993; Bratsis and Aronowitz (eds.) 2002; Gallas, Bretthauer, Kannakulam and Stützle (eds.) 2011.

  • 3.

    Gardiner 2009, p. 383.

  • 4.

    Marx 1981.

  • 5.

    Lenin 1966.

  • 6.

    Engels 1973, p. 222.

  • 7.

    Miliband 1973, pp. 46–51.

  • 9.

    Abrams 1988.

  • 10.

    Poulantzas 2000.

  • 12.

    Žižek 1989.

  • 13.

    Holloway and Picciotto (eds.) 1978.

  • 14.

    Müller and Neusüss 1970.

  • 17.

    Poulantzas 1973, p. 132.

  • 18.

    Poulantzas 2000, p. 52.

  • 19.

    Althusser 2008.

  • 20.

    Laclau 1977.

  • 21.

    Althusser 2005, p. 239.

  • 22.

    Lefebvre 1971.

  • 23.

    Lefebvre 1991, pp. 59ff.

  • 27.

    Althusser 2005, p. 232; Althusser 2008, pp. 34ff.; for a critical position, see Flatschart 2008, pp. 36ff.

  • 28.

    Lacan 1998, pp. 210ff.

  • 29.

    Bhaskar 2008, p. 56.

  • 30.

    Marx 1974, p. 825.

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