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The Idea of the State: a Genealogy

Quentin Skinner gives a genealogy of the modern state, arguing that we should not understand the state simply as the government, but rather as a fictional person, enabling us to explain such things as shared responsibility for debt over generations.

Quentin Skinner is the Barber Beaumont Professor of the Humanities at Queen Mary, University of London and he is the previous Regius professor of modern history at Cambridge. His most recent book is Hobbes and Republican Liberty (2008).