AbstractDu Gay and Scott propose an important rethinking of the concept of the state and its relationship to the institutional development of the state, and offer a valuable distinction between notions of state and regime. The present response focuses on the relationship between the concept of the state and the emergence of state-institutional practices in light of the authors’ use of the Cambridge Historical School, particularly Quentin Skinner. It raises the implications of Skinner’s observation of the “illocutionary” nature of political statements and briefly compares this with Michel Foucault’s lectures on the state and his diagnosis of the pervasive “state-phobia” of much of modern intellectual and political culture. Foucault, it is argued, raises compelling questions of how to conceive the state and of what we are doing when we seek to pose its concept today.
Keywords: State, concept, institution, Skinner, Foucault, state-phobia.