POL 2104 C - Intro to Comparative Politics - Emily Regan Wills - 05 Jan. 20.docx
University of Ottawa
POL 2104 C - Intro to Comparative Politics - Emily Regan Wills - 05 Jan. 20
What is the State?
Defining the State
- What is it?
- Is this political unit a state or not?
- Who determines this?
- What’s its function?
- What is it not?
- Where is it?
- What does it do?
The Westphalian State System
- Comes from “The Peace of Westphalia,” the series of treaties, negotiated among the major and
minor kingdoms of Europe in 1648
- Was the first formal acknowledge of the principle of state sovereignty, that states should be
independent without any force to overrule them.
- The corollaries of this include non-intervention in the affairs of other states, self-
determination of peoples/the citizenry of a country, and the legal equality of all states.
- States should have their own nations.
- Today’s notion of the state arose out of this specific context of Europe
- The WSS is cornerstone of the international state system;
- some people argue it’s no longer relevant
- but much of international politics that makes the most sense in a Westphalian context.
European State Map
- 17th century European politics changed the nature of what a state is. Brougth about the
- Modern states only ranked based on the European Model of statehood. Ignores the position of
statehood through any or forms such as pre-European models in China, India,Africa, etc.
- 3 waves of state independence
- 1st wave: Conversion of LatinAmerican colonies
- 2nd wave: Rise of Post Colonial States inAsia &Africa
- 3rd wave: Collapse of the Soviet Union & the states that emerged from its demise
- Process of unification in Europe not state until city states & different individual states w/in the
nation were merged into one nation state.
Politics as a Vocation - Max Weber
- Max is considered one of of the founding fathers of sociology as a discipli