Revista Lua Nova, 81, 2010: 117-146.
In the relations between society and the state, the two forms of politically organized societies – the nation and civil society – play a key role, as also do class coalitions and political pacts. The relation between both is dialectical, but, initially, the state exerts more influence on the society as democratization takes place this relation gradually changes in favor of society. Despite the fact that politics (the art of governing the state) is subjected to economic and political constraints, it counts with a relative autonomy. It is not the state but politics that has relative autonomy. Whereas society and the economy are the realm of necessity, politics is the realm of men's will and freedom. The deterministic political theories that search to predict political behavior fail because they ignore this relative autonomy of politics. It is through politics, in the framework of the democratic state, that men and women build their state and their society.