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The State in Capitalist Society – 40 Years On



Call for Papers



PSA State Theory Specialist Group & Marxism Specialist Group



One Day Conference


The State in Capitalist Society – 40 Years On



Friday 22 May, 2009



School of Social Sciences, Leeds Metropolitan University,


Ralph Miliband’s The State in Capitalist Society was first published in 1969 and widely acclaimed as a major contribution to the revival of both state theory and Marxist political thought. The book still stands as a key work in the development of social and political theory in the second half of the twentieth century.



This one-day conference aims to revisit the arguments that Miliband laid out in the book and evaluate their continuing relevance in the apparently very different conditions of the twenty-first century. After all, people still do ‘live in the shadow of the state’ and states still operate in capitalist societies.



Proposals for papers that address any of the themes and arguments in The State in Capitalist Society, and its lacunae, from any perspective are welcome. For example:



  • ‘The State’ and ‘Capitalist Society’, then and now
  • Miliband’s contribution to the Marxist tradition
  • The Milibandian perspective, pluralism and the business dominance model
  • Connections between business elites and state elites
  • The conversion of economic power into political influence
  • How does the process of legitimation work today?
  • Whatever happened to pressure from below?
  • The state in global capitalist society
  • What does Miliband still have to offer the state debate?



Please send a title and abstract (approx. 200 words) by January 9, to

Paul Wetherly –



Papers will be required by May 1



Venue: Leeds Metropolitan University, School of Social Sciences, Old School Board, Calverley St, Leeds LS1 3HE



The Old School Board is in Leeds city centre, approximately 15 minutes walk from the railway station.




Conference organisers: Paul Wetherly, Peter Burnham (, Mark Cowling (



Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Rikowski web site, The Flow of Ideas its at:

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