Administering Civil Society: Towards a Theory of State Power by Mark Neocleous

By Mark Neocleous

To maintain social order the kingdom needs to administer civil society, with a threefold goal - the fashioning of the marketplace, the structure of felony subjectivity and the subsumption of fight. In Administering Civil Society Mark Neocleous bargains a rethinking of the state-civil society contrast throughout the thought of political management. this is often completed via an unique analyzing of Hegel's Philosophy of correct and an insightful critique of Foucault's account of energy and management. the result is a hugely provocative idea of kingdom strength.

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64 But if this is a problem, then it is one of translation alone. Marx is using biirgerliche Gesellschoft, for the same reason as Hegel - because it means both bourgeois society and civil society. In the 'later' works, where Marx is discussing 'bourgeois society' he equally means 'civil society'. If one translates biirgerliche Gesellschoft as civil society rather than bourgeois society, as some commentators have suggested,65 then the later works are replete with the concept. Finally Marx's occasional use of quotation marks around 'civil society', such as found on the first page of the 185 7 Grundrisse, are in danger of over-interpretation.

By reducing Hegel's 'civil society' to the system of needs the complexities of his system of family, civil society and state can easily be overlooked. Too much can then be made ofMarx's own discovery of English political economy, and the theoretical sophistication involved in considering the policing of civil society through law and administration is lost. The current fashion for a theory and practice of a socialist civil society obliterates this aspect of Marx's work. Krishan Kumar, for example, is guilty of the very crime he accuses Avineri of committing on Hegel.

30 Because of this Gramsci sees the need to develop a more comprehensive analysis of the state in Western Europe, and in the process of so doing he fundamentally transforms the category 'hegemony'. Widely used prior to its adoption, and then expansion, by Gramsci (being used by Lenin, Stalin, Bukharin, Plekhanov and Zinoviev among others), 'hegemony' was a key term as part of the strategy for overthrowing Tsarism, referring to the type of leadership exercised by the proletariat over other groups allied against Tsarism.

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