The world we live in has been deeply changed in the last few decades. We are witnessing fast economic, social and political changes in the way of life we knew, gender roles are changed, there are changes in the way of how states are governed, and changes in the meaning of society in a globalized world.
According to Bob Jessop, “states are not the sort of abstract, formal objects which readily lend themselves to clear- cut, unambiguous definition.” Rather, the state is a “messy concept,” characterized by a paradoxical set of attributes: it is real and self-evident, but also illusory and “ambiguously defined”, it is a historically contingent entity, but also, in the public imagination, a timeless, universal entity. It is an aggregate of specified institutions, but also a bundle of functions. This paradoxical nature of the state is particularly resistant to objectivist definitions.