Instructions: Each essay should be no more than 1000 words. Additionally, each essay should begin with a brief abstract (this should be roughly 20% of the total essay or no more then 200 words), which summarizes your argument. The length of the abstract is included in the 1000 word limit. Essays should be 12 pt font, single spaced with one inch margins, and in a doc. or docx. format. Make sure you cite specific passages and provide page numbers as a reference – you do not need to include a works cited page. You can do this by including a parenthesis after the quote or section you paraphrase: for example “Lenin says… (p.245),” or (Gramsci 12) depending on if you are using a direct quote or paraphrasing. You can use direct quotes from the text, but you should also try to put the argument into your own words when possible. You must include a word count at the end of each essay.
In this course we have interrogated classic theories of the state. Both the Pluralist tradition (Dahl) and the Sociological tradition (Weber & Mills) are grappling with Marx and Marxism. In the second half of the course we have built our understanding of the Marxist tradition: M&E, Lenin, Gramsci, Althusser, and Block. This essay has two parts:
First you need to briefly summarize the Marxist tradition. What is the state for M&E? How does Lenin building upon their understanding? What is the State for Lenin? What are the contradictions of the Capitalist State that Lenin points out? How does Gramsci highlight and elaborate this? What is Gramsci’s alternative theory of the State? How do Althusser and Block extended ideas of Gramsci? What is the common thread? What are the differences?
Second, how do these theorists think of social change under capitalism? What are the differences and similarities between their positions in terms of alternative politics?
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