Abstract and Keywords
Three waves of social science thinking have marked the debate about the state and its transformations since World War II. During the first wave, the dominant intellectual perspectives of the postwar boom period—pluralism, Marxism, modernization theory, and behavioralism—largely neglected the state analytically. In the second wave, an emerging historical-institutionalist camp portrayed the state as central to the differential responses of countries to common challenges, such as slow growth and democratic crisis,. The historical-institutionalist perspective was countered, particularly among Anglo-American scholars, by a more critical neoliberal view of the state. In the most recent third wave, globalization and other international developments have fueled the sense that states are becoming less relevant, a perspective championed by neoliberals. Historical-institutionalists have responded in two ways, with some scholars pointing to the persistence of established state policies and institutions, while others have emphasized state transformations, identifying new roles and missions for states.