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University of Toronto Scarborough
Political Science
Waldemar Skrobacki

Week 4: The (Nation)State and Global Politics WHAT IS THE STATE? 1. Modern idea (of the state and interstate relationships): a. clearly demarcated political areas TERRITORY i. singular states possessing internationally recognized borders b. people living in that area POPULATION c. political structure for the a. and b. SOVEREIGN GOVERNMENT SHORT HISTORY OF THE STATE Early civilizations/early empires 1) Chinese, Japanese and Islamic i. developed in relative isolation, as discrete worlds (until approximately the year of 1000) b. accumulation and concentration of coercive means c. culturally diverse and heterogeneous d. extraction of tribute to support the emperors administration apparatus and the military e. huge territories/limited mobility and transportation means f. limited administrative authority: i. ruled but not governed (domination through coercion with limited administrative means to control the conquered territories) ii. concentrated political power and limited political authority. Medieval Europe 1) feudalism i. fragmented and divided political authority; overlapping claims and powers (P. Anderson) ii. no principle of territorial political rule / no clear territorial demarcation: iii. power personal and local iv. military + tribute and rent 2) alternatives a. cities and urban federations depended on commerce b. papacy and the order of international Christian society (Bull); c. God/religious doctrine as the source of authority (11 c) Early Modern States (15th-18th Century) 1) Medieval notion of politics erodes a. barons vs. monarchs; peasants vs. landlords; spread of trade and commerce; renaissance humanism; new (military) technologies; consolidation of national 1 monarchies; religious strife vs. universal claims of Catholicism and struggle between the state and the church 2) Two new emerging types of state a. absolute monarchies (France, Prussia, Spain, Austria, Russia and Sweden) b. constitutional monarchies (England) 3) Absolutism: a. pivotal role in modern polity and interstate system b. unitary and centralized rule by a single sovereign ruler: uniform rule centralized administration fiscal management mechanisms of law making and enforcement system of law and order enforced over a certain territory monopolization of military power 1. introduction of standing armies => conscription c. homogenization from above through state-making reduction of social/economic/cultural differences within the state d. principles of sovereignty and territoriality became supreme (within and among the states) yet, smaller and weaker political units absorbed by larger and stronger ones e. states involved in interstate power struggle religious and dynastic wars formalization of interstate relationships => diplomacy f. expansions of differences among the states g. as a result, forging political communities and (state-)national identities. The European society of states (1648 - ?1945? - ?PRESENT?) 1) Westphalian Model of the state a. normative model Treaty of Westphalia 1648 th th b. fullest articulation in late 18 - early 19 century c. core principles: i. states are separate an discrete political entities based on: ii. territoriality iii. sovereignty: 1. jurisdiction over a bounded territory and community (law making and enforcement) iv. autonomy and non-intervention in domestic affairs v. mutual recognition d. formal equality e. right of self-determination f. Cuius regio, eius religio (Latin) = whose realm, his religion g. state apparatus distinct from both the ruler and the ruled i. bureaucracy ii. civil service 2) Westphalian model of interstate relations a. a world of territorial sovereign states i. no supreme authority 2ii. states pursue national interest b. minimalist cooperation => i. institutionalization of diplomacy (permanent missions & codification of diplomatic immunity) ii. international law as a set of minimal rules of coexistence (sovereignty still supreme!) iii. balance of power 1. Concert of Europe c. capacity for overseas operations by military and naval forces: long-range navigations => i. domination of maritime empires 1. Spain and Portugal, 15-16 c th 2. The Netherlands, 17 century th 3. France, 18 century 4. Britain, 19 century d. development of commercial capitalism international transfers of capital and commodities e. colonialism and expansion i. prestige and power => struggle for colonies ii. market + involvement of non-state actors iii. resource and tax base=> iv. development of industries v. importance of sound administrative structure vi. development of transportation/communication/technological innovations: steam engine, Morse code, telegraph, cable links vii
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