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The introduction lays out the key concepts and arguments of the book and situates them within the relevant scholarly literature. It presents a framework for conceptualizing class relationally and temporally. It then proposes a way of thinking about the state that considers how the social relations, understandings, and forms of political participation institutionalized as “the state” emerge from contending projects of rule in different scalar dimensions. Finally, it asserts that understanding the entanglements of violence and capitalist processes is central to grasping the emergence of neoliberalism and the rise of the contemporary human rights movement.

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