In this important new book, Bob Jessop offers a radical new interpretation of capitalist states and their likely future development. He focuses on the changing forms, functions, scales and effectiveness of economic and social policy that have emerged since the 1950s in advanced western capitalist states. The postwar Keynesian welfare national state that developed in most advanced capitalist societies has long been regarded as being in crisis. Mounting tensions have been generated by technological change, globalization, and economic and political crises, and new social and political movements have also had a destabilizing impact. Jessop examines these factors in relation to the rise, consolidation and crisis of Atlantic Fordism and asks whether a new type of capitalist state that is currently emerging offers a solution. He notes that there are several difficulties still to be overcome before the new type of state is consolidated; in particular, he is critical of its neoliberal form and considers its main alternatives. This book will have broad cross--disciplinary appeal. It will be read by sociologists, political scientists, institutional economists, geographers and students of social policy.