Type
Article
Title
If it didn’t exist we’d have to invent it... Further reflections on the ontological status of the state
In
British Journal of Sociology
Editor
GB : Wiley-Blackwell
Volume
65
Number
3
Pages
487 - 491 p.
ISSN
00071315
DOI
10.1111/1468-4446.12086
Keywords
State, political ontology, ‘as if realism’, critical realism, strategic-relational approach, ontological stratification
Abstract
EN
In this brief response to Bob Jessop's probing yet sympathetic critique, I clarify further the ‘as if realist’ political ontology of the state. I suggest that critical realism's appeal to the ontological stratification of social reality and to the logic of retroduction are the principal stumbling blocks for ‘as if realists’, that the appeal to state power(s) as distinct from the state as real cannot circumvent the ‘as if realist’ ontological objection to the state as real since both remain conceptual abstractions, but that there is a natural affinity between the strategic-relational approach developed by Jessop and others and the ‘as if realist’ ontology of the state that I here elucidate.

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