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SOCI 1002 (204)
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January 24, The State, nation and politics.docx
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Department
Sociology
Course
SOCI 1002
Professor
Christian Carron
Semester
Winter

Description
The State, Nation and Politics Nationalism - When asked a question about nationality, a person may answer ‘American’, ‘British’, ‘German’, ‘Italian’, ‘French’, ‘Portuguese’, and so on - However, if answering British, the person may also answer ‘English’(or ‘Welsh’, or Scottish’, or ‘Jewish’, or ‘Greek’) - As it happens, both answers are proper responses to the question of nationality, but refer to different things - When answering ‘British’they are indicating that they are a ‘British subject’, that is, a citizen of the state called Great Britain or the United Kingdom - When answering ‘English’, they are reporting the fact that they belong to the English nation Nationalism - Aquestion about nationality makes both answers possible and acceptable and demonstrates how the two memberships are not clearly distinguished from each other and thus may become confused - Yet while state and nation may overlap, they are quite different things and a person's membership of each involves them in very different kinds of relationships Citizenship and The State - There is no state without a specific territory held together by a centre of power • Very broad definition of state • State has a specific territory held together by a center of power - Every resident of the area over which the authority of the state extends belongs to the state - Belonging in this case has first of all a legal meaning. 'Authority of the state' means the ability to declare and enforce, the law of the land' Citizenship and The State - State: The state consists of the institutions responsible for formulating and carrying out a country's laws and public policies - State has a monopoly over the legitimate means of violence - Therefore, the state claims the sole right to apply coercive force - The other side of the state monopoly of physical coercion is that any use of force which has not been authorized by the state, or committed by anyone other than its authorized agents, is condemned as an act of violence • Punching someone in the face Citizenship and The State - The laws announced and guarded by the state determine the duties and the rights of the state subjects - One of the most important of these duties is the payment of taxes- giving away a part of our income to the state, which takes it over and puts it to various uses - The rights, on the other hand, may be personal. Here we might include the protection of our own body and possessions, the right to profess our own opinions and beliefs - They may also be political (rights) in terms of influencing the composition and the policy of state organs: for example, by taking part in elections • If we don’t like how this is being conducted, we can elect another group - The rights and duties coming from citizenship in the State has the potential for people to feel simultaneously protected and oppressed - The State has enabling and constraining influences on our lives - Our experience of the state is inherently ambiguous: we may like and need it and dislike and resent it at the same time Citizenship and The State - People can sometimes challenge the control and authority of the State - These efforts may be manifest in two related, but different directions 1. The first is regionalism in which state power may be soon as an adversary of local autonomy. The specificity of local interests and issues become singled out as sufficient reasons for aspirations to the self-management of local affairs 2. The second manifestation is deterritorialization. Here we find the territorial basis of state power being open to challenge - But not all states are national and not all nations have states of their own - Deterritorialization: Refers to the increasing loss of literal and figurative borders between nation-states What is a Nation? - No single answer likely to satisfy everybody - The nation is not a 'reality' in the same way in which the state may be defined - The state is 'real' in the sense of having clearly drawn boundaries, both on the map and on the land - The same cannot be said about the nation.Anation is an 'imagined community' because it exists as an entity in so far as its members mentally and emotionally 'identify themselves' with a collective body - True, nations usually occupy a continuous territory, however, hardly any nations boast a monopoly of residence on any territory - Within virtually any territory there are people living side-by-side who define themselves as belonging to different nations and whose loyalty is thus claimed by different nationalisms - In many territories no nation can really claim a majority, much less a position sufficiently dominant to define the ‘national character’of the land Nation and the State - Nationalisms normally demand power – the right to use coercion – in order to secure the preservation and continuity of the nation - So, much as the state needs nationalism for its legitimation, nationalism needs the state for its effectiveness. The national state is the product of this mutual attraction • One state and one nation would overlap100%.All people in the State would identify as the same nation Nation and the State - Public resources become mobilized in order to boost the competitive chances of the preferred national culture in general and national literature and arts in particular - It also means, above all, control over education which is made simultaneously free and obligatory, so that no one is excluded and no one is allowed to escape its influence - Universal education permits all inhabitants of the state territory to be trained (FORCES) in the values of the nation that dominates the state - Mass media for Canada is dominated byAmerican popular culture - Education is the vehicle in which nation is built Nation and the State - With varying degrees of success, there is the seeking to accomplish in practice what has been claimed in theory, namely the 'naturalness' of nationality • In 100 years from now, most people’s #1 association of emotional attachment, if asked what nationality you are, they will respond ‘Canadian’. It is the idea of the melting pot • Make all one national culture - The competition for state power does not come solely from the struggle between these Nations, but comes along several other lines – the study of this struggle for state power is part of what defines the study of Politics What Is Politics? Key Terms - Politics is machine that determines “who gets what, when, and how” (Lasswell, 1936) - Power : the ability to control others, even against their will - fuels the machine •
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