State-Formation after the Cultural Turn
Edited by George Steinmetz
What impact does culture have on state-formation and public policy? How do states affect national and local cultures? How is the ongoing cultural turn in theory reshaping our understanding of the Western and modernizing states, long viewed as the radiant core of a universal, context-free rationality? This eagerly awaited volume brings together pioneering scholars who reexamine the sociology of the state and historical processes of state-formation in light of developments in cultural analysis.The volume first examines some of the unsatisfying ways in which cultural processes have been discussed in social science literature on the state. It demonstrates new and sophisticated approaches to understanding both the role culture plays in the formation of states and the state's influence on broad cultural developments. The book includes theoretical essays and empirical studies; the latter essays are concerned with early modern European nations, non-European countries undergoing political modernization, and twentieth-century Western nation-states. A wide range of perspectives are presented in order to delineate this emergent area of research. Together the essays constitute an agenda-setting work for the social sciences.