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GS - 3000 The Nation-State System

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Corey Perkins

on 29 August 2014

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Transcript of GS - 3000 The Nation-State System

Political Globalization refers to the intensification and expansion of political interrelations across the globe
The multidimensional aspects of globalization demand that we beyond simply the economic aspects of globalization. Afterall, the globlization of economic interconnections has been set into motion by a series of political decisions... Can you name one major example we discussed?
Political relations have moved beyond the idea of the nation state, thus we must look into the impact of intergovermental organizations, the complexities of state sovereignty, and the prospects of regional and global governance.
The modern nation state system rests on the psychological foundations and cultural assumption of a national 'us' & them', forged through a shared historical, cultural, and political experience of a people.
Large Scale nationalism, the belief that one's country is superior to another, and demonizing images of the other (among other things) has led to large scale warfare - and sometimes total wars like WW I & II
The modern nation state was created at the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648 at the end of the Protestant Reformation. This treaty guaranteed absolute sovereignty within a states national borders, including which religion would be practiced.
This treaty also formed the borders of many European states and it strengthened the new conception of international law where all states had the right to self determination.
Here is Hugh Laurie (Main character from the show House), and Stephen Fry's renactment
Treaty of Westphalia's 7 points:
1) The world consists of , and is divided into, sovereign territorial states which recognize no superior authority
2) The processes of law-making, the settlement of disputes, and law enforcement are largely in the hands of individual states.
3) International Law is oriented to the est. of minimal rules of co-existence, the creation of enduring relationships is an aim, but only to the extent that it allows state objectives to be met
4) Responsibility for cross-border wrongful acts is a 'private matter' concerning only those affected
5) All states are regarded as equal before the law, but legal rules do not take account of asymmetries of power
6) Differences among states are often settled by force; the principle of effective power holds sway. Virtually no legal fetters exist to curb the resort to force; international legal standardes afford only minimal protection
7) The collective priority of all states should be to minimize the impediments to state freedom
Close of WW I, League of Nations, and Wilson's 14 points
What are politics?
The process through which
groups of people make
Whose view will be and what method
will be adopted?
Issues of Power
Political Scientist are concerned with how politics
at the governmental level affect people and
examine political behavior & organization, systems of governance, public policy, and the acquisition, allocation, application, and transfer of power.
The Nation-State
What is a State?
an independent political-administrative unit that successfully -

1) claims the allegiance of a given population
2) exercises a monopoly on the legitimate use of coercive force
3) controls the territory inhabited by its citizens or subjects
A state, often interchanged with
the word country, should ideally
possess sovereignty
sovereignty - A governments capacity to assert supreme power successfully in a political state
A nation is made up of a distinct group of people who share a common background, including any or all of the following: geographic location, history, racial or ethnic characteristics, religion, language, culture, and belief in common political ideas
generally associated with Geography...
Nations very in history and homogeneity - Norway and the USA
what is a nation-state?
a political entity (a state) associated with a particular cultural entity (a nation)
The nation-state was formed through a long and brutal process in Europe...
Nation - referring to ethnic or community
State - referring to a sovereign political entity
Some states have nations living within them, such as the Native American Iroquois - which are a nation but do not have their own state
What are some examples of nations?
Thus in theory citizens of a nation-state share a common language, culture, and values - commonalities which historically often were not characteristic of the state
Colonial boundaries ignored cultural, linguistic, religious boundaries and differences
While some states in Africa are performing well as nation-states, Decolonialization gave rise to many multi-national states that face a near impossible job of nation-building
1967 - Nigerian Civil War where an ethnic group called the Ibo tried to secede and form Biafra
1994 Rwandan Genocide where the numerically superior Hutus slaughtered the Tutsis

Belgium favored the Tutsis with power and privilege (such as education/literacy)
State-less Nations - nations that share a common identity or community but have no homeland...

Kurds and Palestinians
The Sovereign State & the Nation-State -
The History of Nation-State building in
If Nation States supposedly share linguistic, religious, and symbolic identities, what binds them?
Nationalism - A patriotic feeling towards one's country and often a tendency to view ones country as superior to other states.

Nationalism is a principle which holds that the political and the national unit should be congruent
Sovereign and Centralized States that have performed successfully over a long period of time - and have therefore knit their people together in terms of historical memories, legal codes,
language, religion and so forth - may evolve into
European states were built on tremendous
amounts of suffering, death, loss of rights,
and forced surrender of lands, goods, and labor in order to gain centralized control over people and territories
Thus it took 4 to 5 centuries for European States
to centralize power and to bring lukewarm loyalty up to the heat of nationalism.
Why? When granted independence and states acquired the right to Sovereignty, or Juridical Statehood

Juridical Statehood refers to the legal right to sovereignty and control over territory
Empirical Statehood -

a capacity for internal cohesiveness,
effective control and civil government
In other words, unlike the european nation-states which took 4 to 5 centuries, some African states found themselves forced into an unnatural, dysfunctional state system, created by European colonialist, which unsuccessfully forced statehood on various politically incompatible ethnic groups and rivals
In the space of a few decades, the facade of the new state system was formed and then, shortly thereafter, the states were given independence. The hard-earned structures of political control and authority that allowed for the exercise of political power in the precolonial period were abruptly cast aside, and there were almost no efforts to rsurrect them
But more complicated is that Intl Organizations, like the UN or the Org of African Unity, would offer economic and sometimes military support to governments recognized by the intl community irrespective of domestic opinion. Recognition came with the control of a Capital City.
This led to a bias towards urban dwellers and the neglect, or much worse, of rural populations.

If secessionist movements were a viable threat, African politician may have had incentives to compromise with disaffected populations.
Zaire (71-97) - In todays DRC - under
Mobutu's rule demonstrated this. While the
intl community recognized Zaire as a sovereign
state, Mobutu's power did not stretch far beyond
the capital of Kinshasa
Liberia - In the Liberian Civil Wars (1989 to 1996) the National Patriotic Front of Liberia controlled most of the countryside with the govt only controlling Monrovia - the capital. The NPFL controlled much of the economic surplus (rural areas) and met most of the basic criterion for statehood. it even conducted international trade and exported iron ore rubber, and tropical timber
Even in the Somalian US led UN intervention
in 92 - while although it was obvious
most forms of statehood did not exist, the
myth of Somalia being a sovereign nation-
state by the Intl Community was perpetuated
when the resolution to the UN Sec Counsel
that proposed an intervention was actually
proposed by former Somalian PM, so that the
UN could pretend that Somalia was a sovereign
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