It is common to hear of the threats to the nation-state system in the contemporary world. Such threats seem to originate from many different quarters, at different level of the global system. This impending sense that the nation-state is somehow in “crisis” led to analyze the question of “the contemporary crisis of the nation-state?”
But before we go into the analysis, it is important to look into the ideas that would help to understand the case, under discussion, in a better way. To begin with, let’s see the definition of nation, state and the nation-state system, according to the context under discussion.
According to the Oxford English dictionary, the word nation literally means, community of people having mainly common descent, history, language, etc or forming sovereign state or inhabiting territory.
From the above definition, there are two kinds of nations, the ethnic nation (community with common descent) and demotic nation (community with common territorial boundaries). E.K. Francis draws a distinction between ‘ethnic’ nations that are based on belief in common descent and a sense of solidarity and common identity, and ‘demotic’ nations that are based on shared administrative and military institutions, common territorial boundaries for protection and the mobility of goods and people. This is similar to the distinction often made between ‘cultural nations’, based on criteria such as language, customs, religion and the ‘political nations’, that are more contractual and derive from shared institutions, shared citizenship and a sense of shared history.
According to Oxford English dictionary, state literally means, political community under one government.
This means a community which is coherent with the government of the state obeys the government with its own will, making government responsible for it. It is the political organization of the people under one government.
Bibliography: 1. E.K. Francis, Interethnic Relations: An Essay in Sociological Theory (New York: Elsevier, 1976). 2. Alfred Cobban, the Nation State and National Self Determination (London: HarperCollins, 1969). 5. Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (London: Verso, 1983) 6. Kathryn A 7. TalalAsad, Genealogies of Religion (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993). 8. Robin Cohen, ``Diasporas and the Nation-state: From Victims to Challengers’’ , International Affairs, Vol. 72, No. 3 (1996) 9. Ernest Mandel, Late Capitalism, Joris De Bres (trans.) (London: NLB, 1972). 10. Andrew Linklater, Beyond Realism and Marxism: Critical Theory and International Relations New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1990). 11. Immanuel Wallerstein, The Capitalist World Economy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979 12. Immanuel Wallerstein, The Politics of the World Economy: The States, the Movements and the Civilizations (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984). 13. Robin Murray, ``The Internationalization of Capital and the Nation-state’’ , New Left Review, Vol. 67 (1971), 14. Peter Dicken, Global Shift: The Internationalization of Economic Activity, 2nd edn (New York: Guilford Press, 1992). 15. James H. Mittelman (ed.), Globalization: Critical Reflections (Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 1996) 16. R 17. John Dunn (ed.), The Economic Limits to Politics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990). 18. John Dunn, ``Introduction: Crisis of the Nation State?’’ , Political Studies, Vol. 42, Special Issue (1994) 19. Helen Thompson, ``The Nation-state and International Capital in Historical Perspective’’ , Government and Opposition, Vol 20. Leo Panitch, ``Rethinking the Role of the State’’, (Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 1996) 21. Roland Robertson, Globalization: Social Theory and Global Culture (London: Sage, 1992) 22. Roland Robertson as quoted in Peter Beyer, Religion and Globalization (London: Sage, 1994) 23. Stuart Hall, ``Cultural Identity and Diaspora’’, in Jonathan Rutherford (ed.), Identity: Community, Culture, Difference (London: Lawrence &Wishart, 1990). 24. Connie L. McNeely, Constructing the Nation-state (Westport: Greenwood Press, 1995). 25. Benjamin R. Barber, ``Jihad Vs. McWorld’’ , The Atlantic Monthly (March 1992) 26. KemichiOhmae, The Borderless World (London: Harper Business, 1990).