State, power block and capitalist accumulation: a theoretical approach

Vol. 34 No. 1 (2014)

Jan-Mar / 2014
Published January 1, 2014
PDF-Portuguese (Português (Brasil))
PDF-Portuguese (Português (Brasil))

How to Cite

Costa Pinto, Eduardo, and Paulo Balanco. 2014. “State, Power Block and Capitalist Accumulation: A Theoretical Approach”. Brazilian Journal of Political Economy 34 (1):39-60.

State, power block and capitalist accumulation: a theoretical approach

Eduardo Costa Pinto
Professor adjunto do Instituto de Economia (IE) da UFRJ.
Paulo Balanco
Professor do Curso de Mestrado em Economia da Universidade Federal da Bahia,
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 34 No. 1 (2014), Jan-Mar / 2014, Pages 39-60


This article aims to elaborate a theory, based on Poulantzas, about the role of the state in a capitalist economy through a relational perspective that perceives the state as a field and a strategic process for the disputes of class fractions within the power bloc. In order to do so, it exposes the relation between state and accumulation at an abstract-formal level, emphasising the limitations of studies that use only this dimension. Next, it analyzes the role of the power bloc in mediating between the abstract and concrete levels of the state, observing that public policies are elaborated as a result of the clashes within the power bloc. Finally, it promotes a discussion on the external constraints (international system) that are affected and affect the state and, consequently, the dynamics of the power bloc. 

JEL Classification: P10; P16.

Keywords: State power bloc capitalist accumulation