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

in Historical Materialism
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The present review essay discusses Peter Bratsis’s work Everyday Life and the State (2006). 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’.

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

in Historical Materialism



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


Gardiner 2009p. 383.


Marx 1981.


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Abrams 1988.


Poulantzas 2000.


Žižek 1989.


Holloway and Picciotto (eds.) 1978.


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Poulantzas 2000p. 52.


Althusser 2008.


Laclau 1977.


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


Lacan 1998pp. 210ff.


Bhaskar 2008p. 56.


Marx 1974p. 825.

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