3

Perspectives and Theories on the Origin of the State

Introduction

In Chapter 2, we discussed the concept and elements of the State, and the evolution of the State to its present form—the nation-state. In this chapter, we will study the various perspectives and theories of the State by taking into account rival and contested approaches that seek to find out how and when the State originated, its nature, its sphere of action, the roles and functions it performs for the society, its ends and objectives, and what is and should be its relationship with the individual.

We may argue that any enquiry into ‘political’ or ‘politics’ in contemporary times invariably deals with the State as the central operating agency, notwithstanding variations in the ...

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