The shadow of the state falls on almost every human activity. From education to economic management, from social welfare to sanitation, and from domestic order to external defence, the state shapes and controls; where it does not shape or control it regulates, supervises, authorizes or proscribes. even those aspects of life usually thought of as personal or private (marriage, divorce, abortion, religious worship, and so on) are ultimately subject to the authority of the state. it is not surprising, therefore, that politics is often understood as the study of the state, the analysis of its institutional organizations, the evaluation of its impact on society, and so on. ideological debate and party politics, certainly, tend to revolve around the issue of the proper function or role of the state: what should be done by the state and what should be left to private individuals and associations? the nature of state power has thus become one of the central concerns of political analysis.
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- Politics and the state
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- CHAPTER 3