Bob Jessop

Bob Jessop is an eminent political sociologist whose work on state theory is internationally renowned. Currently a Distinguished Professor of Sociology at Lancaster University, in his early work he concentrated on Marxist theories of the state and in particular the thought of Nicos Poulantzas. He is best known for his ‘strategic-relational’ approach, which has argued that both classic Marxist and liberal theories have neglected the social dimensions of the state and the way in which the exercise of state power is best seen as a complex set of social relations that develops within particular historical contexts and is determined by the wider balance of social and economic forces in a given society. This influential perspective, in addition to his work on many other aspects of state theory, has been outlined with characteristic erudition and rigour in a number of Polity books, including State Power, State Theory and The State: Past, Present, Future.