1989 volume 7(4) pages 475 – 482

Cite as:
Lim G-C, 1989, "State and society: some reflections on theory and theory-building" Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 7(4) 475 – 482

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State and society: some reflections on theory and theory-building

G-C Lim

Received 1 June 1989

Abstract. This paper begins with a selective review of theories relevant to the state-society relationship. The review focuses on the mode by which competing theories are constructed. Three factors which affect theory-building are considered: assumptions about the intention of the state; the function and capacity of the state; and the forms of alliance, allegiance, and conflict. It is argued that each of these competing theories is valid under specific circumstances and it is suggested that they are not necessarily mutually exclusive but can be complementary at a given point in time. With these reflections on theory and theory-building as background, Klak's comment on an earlier paper is evaluated.

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