Skip to main content

The ‘Crisis of Capitalism’ and the State – More Powerful, Less Responsible, Invariably Legitimate

Azmanova, Albena (2013) The ‘Crisis of Capitalism’ and the State – More Powerful, Less Responsible, Invariably Legitimate. In: Onuf, Nicolas and Lemay-Hébert, Nicolas and Raki?, Vojin and Bojani?, Petar, eds. Semantics of Statebuilding: Language, Meanings and Sovereignty. Routledge, London, pp. 150-162. ISBN 978-0-415-81729-5.


This chapter traces the reconfiguration of the legitimacy relationship between states and citizens, and the related alteration of the semantics of the social contract since the advent of liberal democracies in Europe. This reconfiguration has fostered the recent emergence of a fourth modality of capitalism (as an institutionalized social order) after (1) the entrepreneurial nineteenth-century capitalism, (2) the ‘organized’ capitalism of the post-WWII welfare state, and (3) the neoliberal, ‘disorganized’ capitalism of the late twentieth century. A key feature of the new modality, in terms of the nature of power relations, is a simultaneous increase in the state’s administrative power and a decrease in its authority. However, due to a recasting of the legitimacy relationship between public authority and citizens, the deficient authority of states has not triggered a legitimacy crisis of the socio-economic system. A readjustment of the pathological relationship (from the point of view of democratic legitimacy) between public authority and citizens would require a stronger responsibilization of public authority in matters of social and economic policy.

Item Type: Book section
Uncontrolled keywords: capitalism, crisis, state
Subjects: J Political Science > JC Political theory
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations > Global Europe Centre
Depositing User: Albena Azmanova
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2016 18:10 UTC
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2019 03:08 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Azmanova, Albena:
  • Depositors only (login required):


Downloads per month over past year