The State of Freedom. A Social History of the British State since 1800

Patrick Joyce, Cambridge University Press, 2013


What is the state? The State of Freedom offers an important new take on this classic question by exploring what exactly the state did and how it worked. Patrick Joyce asks us to re-examine the ordinary things of the British state from dusty government files and post offices to well-thumbed primers in ancient Greek and Latin and the classrooms and dormitories of public schools and Oxbridge colleges. This is also a history of the 'who' and the 'where' of the state, of the people who ran the state, the government offices they sat in and the college halls they dined in. Patrick Joyce argues that only by considering these things, people and places can we really understand the nature of the modern state. This is both a pioneering new approach to political history in which social and material factors are centre stage, and a highly original history of modern Britain.

Patrick Joyce is the Professorial Fellow in History at the University of Edinburgh, 2013-2014/5, and an Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Manchester. He is currently a Fellow of the Moore Institute, National University of Ireland Galway, and has been a Visiting Professor at the LSE, Univ. of California Berkeley, and the European University Institute in Florence. His main areas of academic interest are: freedom and liberalism; the nature of the state; power and materiality; rethinking British history; history of London and its Irish diaspora.

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Posted on May 13, 2013 .