This working paper is an analytical review of four recent studies on "women and the state" or the gendered state. Three of these books include studies from countries in Africa and Asia, while the fourth on European welfare states serves as a contrast to these. The thematic foci are the concepts of the state, the heterogeneity and contradictory nature of states, states producing and perpetuating gender ideology, boundaries of the political, and a discussion about the "third world woman" category approach as opposed to a gender relations perspective.