Start Geo Dictionary | Overview | Topics | Groups | Categories | Bookmark this page.
geology dictionary - geography encyclopedia  
Full text search :        
   A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z   #   



state apparatus

  The set of institutions and organizations through which state power is exercised. Analysis of the state apparatus is important because: (a) the apparatus is an imperfect, at times obsolescent, manifestation of changing social relations; (b) the apparatus acts as a medium through which the exercise of state power is \'filtered\' and inevitably transformed; and (c) because it is manifest as a concrete set of institutions, the apparatus offers the potential for strategic intervention by powerful social groups.

The state apparatus consists of various kinds of sub-apparatus, as follows:

{img src=show_image.php?name=2022.gif } political, the set of parties, elections, governments and constitutions; {img src=show_image.php?name=2022.gif } legal, the mechanisms which allow peaceful mediation between conflicting social groups (cf. law, geography of); {img src=show_image.php?name=2022.gif } repressive, the mechanisms of internal (intra-national) and external (international) enforcement of state power, including civilian police and armed forces (cf. surveillance); {img src=show_image.php?name=2022.gif } production, the range of state-manufactured and state-distributed goods and services (cf. public goods); {img src=show_image.php?name=2022.gif } provision, whereby the state contracts with other agencies for the production and distribution of goods and services; {img src=show_image.php?name=2022.gif } treasury, fiscal and monetary arrangements for regulating internal and external economic relations; {img src=show_image.php?name=2022.gif } health, education and welfare, basic services for the promotion of population well-being (cf. welfare state); {img src=show_image.php?name=2022.gif } information, state-sponsored or state-controlled mechanisms for information and disinformation dissemination; {img src=show_image.php?name=2022.gif } communications and media, licensed and regulated but usually relatively autonomous information-dissemination channels, including telecommunications and print; {img src=show_image.php?name=2022.gif } administration, a sub-apparatus designed to ensure the overall compatibility and operation of all the various state sub-apparatuses; and {img src=show_image.php?name=2022.gif } regulatory, agencies created to organize and extend state intervention into non-state activities, including family and industrial relations.The various state apparatuses are vital in achieving the three functions of the modern capitalist state: (a) to secure social consensus by guaranteeing acceptance of the prevailing social contract by all groups within a society; (b) to secure the conditions of production by regulating social investment to increase production in the public and private sectors, and social consumption to ensure the reproduction of the labour force; and (c) to secure social integration by ensuring the welfare of all groups in society.

The state apparatus exhibits a propensity for seemingly autonomous self-perpetuation, producing an adaptability whereby the structure and practices of the state apparatus can alter dramatically according to the vicissitudes of the political climate. This has been demonstrated recently in capitalist societies by increasing pressures for selective deregulation and state austerity, resulting in the roll-back of the state and leaving the state apparatus vulnerable both to corruption through infiltration of criminal activity and to privatization. In the latter, the functions of the state apparatus are transferred to private enterprises or to civil society, giving rise to a shadow state, falling levels of state employment (most notably in the health, education and welfare sector), and growing inequities in the delivery of services. (See also local state.) (MJD)

Suggested Reading Clark, G.L. and Dear, M.J. 1984: State apparatus: structures and language of legitimacy. Boston: Allen and Unwin, ch. 3. Kammerman, S.B. and Kahn, A.J., eds, 1989: Privatization and the welfare state. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Wolch, J.R. 1990: The shadow state. New York: The Foundation Center.



Bookmark this page:



<< former term
next term >>
stochastic process


Other Terms : regime theory | law (scientific) | participatory action research
Home |  Add new article  |  Your List |  Tools |  Become an Editor |  Tell a Friend |  Links |  Awards |  Testimonials |  Press |  News |  About
Copyright ©2009 GeoDZ. All rights reserved.  Terms of Use  |  Privacy Policy  |  Contact Us