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Extra resources for An Essay on the Nature of the State

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R. Macridis). And so on. No one is to blame for this diversity. Every scientist has to start with a definition. He/she needs it to be able to build a theoretical frame of reference without which no scientific research is possible. In fields where there is a consensus on the object under scrutiny, definitions are usually shared by the entirety, or at least vast majority of the scientific community. In fields like politics where there is no consensus, every scientist feels rightly free to adopt a definition of his/her own.

Every majör group is driven to adopt a view of politics which necessarily reflects its objective interests. Thus, there is not only an ambivalence stemming from the historically evolved differences in the meaning of politics, but there is also one which finds its source in the objective situation of the observers themselves. Like ali human beings, political scientists are members of different social strata, and they cannot help finding the 'right' answer in a definition which reflects the priorities of their own social group.

Our previous analysis has already enabled us 38 AN ESSAY ON THE NATURE OF THE STATE to single out two of these functions : the first one, whose aim is to cater to the common good, and the second one, which is concerned with the promotion of dominant elass interests. The first task requires a direeting activity, and the second one, a compelling one. But these tasks are not independent of each other. Political activity inevitably combines them, and by doing so is transformed, as has been noted above, into a combined set of contradictory role performances.

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