Is Trinidad and Tobago a Nation

Topics: Trinidad and Tobago, British Empire, Democracy Pages: 4 (1731 words) Published: February 26, 2013
Trinidad and Tobago is a country comprising two main islands, with Trinidad being the larger of the two. The islands lie just off the coast of Venezuela in South America. With a population of approximately 1.2 million, the country is 155th most populated state in the world. Before we can properly evaluate whether Trinidad and Tobago is indeed a nation or not we firstly need to clarify what defines a nation. A nation is by definition is a large scale solidarity, constituted by the feeling of sacrifices that one has made in the past and of those that one is prepared to make in the future (Ernest Renan, 1988, What is a Nation). A nation does not have any interest in holding another country against its will. The terms nation, state, country and nation-state are used to refer to political, economic, social and cultural actors in the international system. The modern nation-state refers to a single or multiple nationalities joined together in a formal political union. The nation-state determines an official language, a system of law, manages a currency system, uses a bureaucracy to order elements of society, and fosters loyalties to abstract entities like Canada, the United States, and so on. A nation-state differs from a "state" or a "nation" for a couple of important reasons. A nation refers only to a socio-cultural entity, a union of people sharing who can identify culturally and linguistically. This concept does not necessarily consider formal political unions. While, a state on the other hand refers to a legal/political entity that is comprised of a permanent population, a defined territory, a government and the capacity to enter into relations with other states. This distinction is an important one because we, as political scientists, must be able to account for both political and socio-cultural factors in a political entity. Using the term nation-state permits this investigation. A state has absolute power and agrees not to interfere in the affairs of another...
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