About this Project

As the state’s role has diminished in the face of privatization and globalization, from multiple directions there has been a resurgence of interest in forms of governance and organized power that do not resemble the unified sovereign state that is at the center of dominant scholarly traditions of political analysis and theory. This wave of empirical inquiry and theoretical debate is visible across history, sociology, and political science, spurring multiple forms of cross-disciplinary collaboration. This project aims to fuse these collaborations toward a focused and generative debate on the State as History and Theory. What is necessary is a reconciling of the realistic institutional paradigm predominating in the scholarship on the state with the requirements of everyday politics and democratic political theory – in short, a theory of the democratic state. UChicago faculty in History, Law, Political Science, and Sociology will cohere as a group around the year-long visit of Steve Sawyer from the American University of Paris, who will help sharpen and focus the group’s efforts to produce a new political theory of the democratic state.


Professor Harcourt Part of Interdisciplinary Study of the State

October 17, 2013

The ever-changing state and the way it interacts with its citizens is always important, which is why Professors Bernard Harcourt, Elisabeth Clemens, and James Sparrow are in the midst of a yearlong exploration of that topic, "The State as History and Theory."

Collaborative Approaches to Complex Questions

July 29, 2013

The Neubauer Collegium shares research with the public while making the University a destination for collaborating academic leaders.