The Deconstruction of the American State /w Clyde Barrow

A month after Donald Trump took office as 45th President of the United States, his chief political strategist Stephen K. Bannon declared that “the new administration is in an unending battle for deconstruction of the administrative state.” While many commentators have seen the Trump administration’s actions as unhinged, erratic, unpredictable, and impulsive, this presentation situates … Watch video »

A month after Donald Trump took office as 45th President of the United States, his chief political strategist Stephen K. Bannon declared that “the new administration is in an unending battle for deconstruction of the administrative state.” While many commentators have seen the Trump administration’s actions as unhinged, erratic, unpredictable, and impulsive, this presentation situates those actions with a concept of “stateness” developed by leading institutionalist theorists. Clyde Barrow argues that the Trump Administration is, in fact, implementing the Bannon agenda by systematically deconstructing the American state and stripping it of its Stateness. The long-term result is a type of post-modern political apparatus unrestrained by the Constitutional, administrative, and technocratic limits that define the modern liberal-democratic state.

Clyde W. Barrow (Ph.D., UCLA, 1984), Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, is the author of Toward a Critical Theoy of States: The Poulantzas-Miliband Debate After Globalization (SUNY Press, 2016) and his newest book is The Concept of the Lumpenproletariat (forthcoming with University of Michigan Press).

Recorded in Toronto, 9 February 2020.