The state is one of the most important concepts in explaining the shape of modern life. It is also a concept surrounded with much dispute. What exactly is the state? How important is it in influencing personal conduct? Does it act impartially? What changes has it undergone? What are the varieties of state organization? These three volumes, edited by John Hall - one of the world's best respected commentators on the subject - provide scholars and students with a reliable and comprehensive guide to these questions. The volumes will be essential reading for anyone with a serious interest in the state.