Summary of The Rise and Decline of the State

Looking for the book?
We have the summary! Get the key insights in just 10 minutes.

The Rise and Decline of the State book summary
Start getting smarter:
or see our plans

Rating

7 Overall

4 Applicability

8 Innovation

8 Style

Recommendation

In this comprehensive history of the modern state, author Martin Van Creveld weaves together disparate threads and illuminates hidden connections in forceful, energetic language. Thus, his book is both scholarly and entertaining. Van Creveld takes a generally dim view of governments and the state. The greater the state’s power, the more he regards it as a monstrosity, and he’s not shy about saying so. The anti-government political right will like this book, but Van Creveld’s greatest contempt is reserved for nationalism, militarism and the state at war, which ought to entertain the left. He sees the state as a dubious, archaic institution and, as his narrative shows, his position transcends notions of conservative and liberal. Readers are likely to think of their nations differently after reading this book, which getabstract.com recommends primarily to students of politics and government and policy makers.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why the state should be defined as a corporation;
  • How the advent of nuclear weapons helped create the welfare state; and
  • Why the state will be replaced by a disempowered permanent underclass.
 

About the Author

Martin Van Creveld is a professor in the Department of History at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. His previous books include Supplying War, Fighting Power, Command in War, Technology and War, and The Transformation of War.

 

Summary

Defining the State
The state has been defined many ways, but the definition adopted here is that the state is an abstract entity, separate from both the rulers and the ruled, including both and standing over both. In this sense, the state is a corporation, like a university, trade union...

Get the key points from this book in 10 minutes.

For you

Find the right subscription plan for you.

For your company

We help you build a culture of continuous learning.

 or log in

Comment on this summary

More on this topic

Customers who read this summary also read

More by category