1. RUSSIA (COERCION –MARX) VS. HOLLAND (CAPITAL – WEBER –
1. Growth of the population of these proto-states (world before the rise of nation states). As
these entities grow conflicts in regards to territory arise.
Max Weber (German, 1864 – 1920) emphasized (in Politics as a Vocation) National
currency is a very important element of the state‟s control. “State is the political
institution which has“the monopoly of the legitimate use of violence within a territory”
1. Citizens must give consent to those who govern them
2. Citizens have rights (not all use of violence by the state is legitimate) (civil, social and
3. The state has to have a physical apparatus in order to exist
4. Has to control the economy and means of administering justice
a) control over territory protection against external enemies
b) internal order of protection of inhabitants
Treaty of Westphalia – 1618-1648
a) states are sovereign – right of self-determinaton
b) legal equality among states (not equal in force and in strength)
c) non-intervention of one state on the affair of others
War led to the creation of armies, institutions, taxes and psychological impact (fear
and thus dependency of the civilian of the state).
Coercion (both harsh and subtle ways) and capital.
Both led to nation-states but one led to democracy. (i.e. Holland dug canals and
allowed for them to fill up with ocean water, creating the ability for
commercialization, commercial“bourgeoisie”, commercialization created the ability
to fund that state leading to powersharing agreements where the state does not have to
exercise coercion because citizens are contributing towards the establishment of the
state. Powersharing agreements created powerful incentives towards the creation of democracy. Holland, in the matrix exercises a low level of coercion and there is a
high presence of capital. States in this side of the matrix present a greater chance of
moving towards democracy. Russia, contrary to Holland would be in the opposite
side of the matrix, with high use of coercion and little presence of capital. Russia was
an agricultural power. Highly centralized country involving a high level of violence.
In a non monetized economy, a high level of coercion must be enforced to ensure
collection of taxes. Protection of a system that oppresses the civilian as opposed to
powersharing, creating a low propensity towards democracy and high propensity
Karl Marx (German): The state is a set of power relations as well as physical apparatuses.
- Power relations (profound inequalities beside this equal political equality.)
NOTES: disarmament of the civilian population, state budges rising (taxes), system
worked well under monetized economy and availability of credit. Credit missing =
monopoly of taxation (use of coercion). A state attempting to collect in a less
commercialized economy faces greater resistance and builds a larger apparatus of control
in the process. The bulk of the machine is inversely proportionate to the prior
commercialization of the economy. Imperial Russia in which has cumbersome state
apparatus grew up to wrest military men and resources from a huge but commercialized
economy. Dutch Republic, which relied heavily on navies as opposed to its military
forces, relied on temporary grants from its city-dominated provinces, easily drew taxes
from customs and never created a substantial central bureaucracy.
Question 2) What is the “state of nature” according to Hobbes and how does this
concept help us understand recent political phenomenon?
The state of Nature: The state of nature is a term in political philosophy used in social
contract theories to describe the hypothetical condition that preceded governments. There
must have been a time before government, and so the question is how legitimate
government could emerge from such a starting position, and what are the hypothetical
reasons for entering a state of society by establishing a government.
State of Nature according to Hobbes: The pure state of nature or "the natural condition
of mankind" was deduced by the 17th century English philosopher Thomas Hobbes, in
Leviathan. Hobbes argued that all humans are by nature equal in faculties of body and
mind (i.e. no natural inequalities are so great as to give anyone a "claim" to an exclusive
"benefit"). From this equality and other causes in human nature, everyone is naturally
willing to fight one another: so that "during the time men live without a common power
to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which is called war; and such a war as
is of every man against every man". In this state every person has a natural right or
liberty to do anything one thinks necessary for preserving one's own life; and life is
"solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short”. Hobbes described this natural condition „war of
all against all‟. Within the state of nature there is neither private property nor injustice since there is no
law, except for certain natural precepts discovered by reason ("laws of nature"): the first
of which is "that every man ought to endeavor peace, as far as he has hope of obtaining
it"; and the second is "that a man be willing, when others are so too, as far forth as for
peace and defence of himself he shall think it necessary, to lay down this right to all
things; and be contented with so much liberty against other men as he would allow other
men against himself". From here Hobbes develops the way out of the state of nature into
political society and government, by mutual contracts. According to Hobbes the state of
nature exists at all times among independent countries, over whom there is no law except
for those same precepts or laws of nature. His view of the state of nature helped to serve
as a basis for theories of international law and realism
State of Nature in Recent politics: In Hobbes's view, once a civil government is
instituted, the state of nature has disappeared between individuals because of the civil
power which exists to enforce contracts and the laws of nature generally. Between
nations, however, no such power exists and therefore nations have the same rights to
preserve themselves - including making war - as individuals possessed. Such a
conclusion led some writers to the idea of an association of nations or worldwide civil
[Lecture notes] Hobbes is trying to argue that private property and rights cannot exist
without the state. Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) during his lifetime, there was a constant
conflict to restrain the monarchical power, to increase the power of the parliament. We
learn from our mistakes, by trial and error we can change our strategies, since we are
rational beings. We are all equal in that sense. Our life is essential to us accomplishing
our goals. The leviathan represents only the power of one, the sovereign. We must obey
the state, and by obeying the state we are constantly re-enforcing the state and institutions
alike. Hobbes does not believe that people should be able to protest the state, and he
thinks that if you protest the state, you are protesting against yourself. Hobbes believes
that people should only disobey the state`s rules if they are in direct danger to lose their
life, and the state is not acting, or the access to the state for help is unavailable at that
moment, where your life is in a direct danger, and death is possible.
#3 What is a failed state?
(1) A state failure occurs when there is no internal order. Thus, a weak central
state would not allow for the regulation of the economy.
(2) A state failure occurs when there is no central authority. Either there is civil
war or a foreign power occupies the nation by force.
***Afghanistan is a failed state because the state does not fully control the territory
within it borders, it is geo-politically disintegrated, and there is a vacuum of power.***
1) state does not fully control territory: areas of lawlessness. (these areas are
side by side; vast contrast between rich and poor; galleries vs slums;
geographical and socio-economic differences; etc.). no rule of law in a very
specific territory (there is a sense of state failure in this sense where the state
has failed to meet the needs of a region within the state) Firstly, Afghanistan has a weak central authority. Some parts of the country, such
as the South, do not pay attention to the government, nor the foreign troops,
because they are based on traditional customs. In the South where it is inhabited
by the ethnic Pashtuns, they rely on counselors, tribe elders, and kinship as a
source of guidance and leadership. On the other hand in the North where the
Tajiks reside, they are reliant on governmental assistance and security from both
the state and foreign troops. This certainly entails a state failure because
Afghanistan has failed to meet the needs of specific types of regions and
demographics within its own borders. The implication of this on the international
community is that they have to develop separate strategies for integrating security
and political measures in each province of Afghanistan.
2) "State within state" situation: Some parts of the country are controlled and
maintained by parties not affiliated with the central government. Secondly,
the state is very divided and cannot be maintained as a collective entity.
Afghanistan fails to act as a legitimate authority because its use of power is not
taken seriously across the region, however; only its monopoly over military force
is a legitimate authority. Additionally, Afghanistan fails to deliver protection, and
distribution of socio-economic equity throughout the country.
3) Vaccuum of Power: when there is vacuum of power, the central
government’s strengths is lower than the strength of rebels. Thirdly,
Afghanistan is a failed state because it fails to perform its key functions as a
“state”. The vacuum of power in Afghanistan has deteriorated the central
government‟s powers significantly. The strength of the militant forces, such as the
Taliban has a very strong authoritative presence. At the tribal level and at the
regional level, the Taliban have instilled fear in the masses without even directly
controlling them. Moreover, the state is incapable of extending its command over
the whole country because its affiliation with the West, as well as the lack of
loyalty from the people, has ruined its reputation. In addition, the Afghanistan‟s
inability to control the ethnic rivalry further undermines its legitimacy as a state.
The implications of this on the international community is that it is nearly
impossible to bring the different clans, tribes, and groups together under one
- Incapacity to govern: cannot impose laws (collecting taxes as an example)
- The military (army, air force, navy) does not have the capacity to retain -
monopoly on force and cannot impose internal order.
-Incapacity to administer justice: no proper judicial system and no rule of -law.
-Unable to regulate the economy: rise of informal economy and illegal -activity.
For example, pirates in Somalia and Opiates (illegal drug trades) in Afghanistan.
-Failure to provide basic services: education, health and safety. #4 Is Somalia a nation according to Benedict Anderson’s definition?
**very similar to #3 on Afghanistan/failed state **
- war lord fighting for power because of vacuum of power; no centreal authority,
there its not a sovereign state; other parties (other than the central government) are
in a position of authority in the state. Somalia is divided (inter-state division), and
thus, according to Benedict Anderson, Somalia is not a nation.-
A nation is an imagined community that is a byproduct of common history,
language customs etc.
A nation is “an imagined community [that is] imagined as both inherently
limited and sovereign.
Nationalism as an instrument of nation-state building began in the Americas
and France. This is civic nationalism.
Anderson believes the second wave of nationalism to be ethnic nationalism.
Instead of unifying all the parties under one central government, sovereign
republics would unify under and weak central govt
Effective because Somalia is already divided into Somaliland in the north,
Puntland in the East, and Somalia in the south
There is no central authority, warlords and clans fighting for power meaning
that there is no sovereignty. Therefore, Somalia is not a nation. It is divided.
The case of Somalia:
- 1960 – colonial powers leave, creating a power vacuum – to obtain stability,
people responded by holding fast to their clan and local identity – nation not
- 1969 – Mohamed Siad Barre leads coup and becomes president – adopts
socialist policies to promote economic modernization (that makes sense why
his government did not promote commerce) and attempt to consolidate
Somali national identity through civic education campaigns to try and temper
clan loyalty (e.g. Somali heroes)
- 1977 – Somali-Ethiopian war over territory in the Ogaden Desert
- 1980-85 – US involvement in Somalia – builds military compound in
Mogadishu, $654 million in economic aid, and $135 in military aid – leave
Somalia in 1991 after the end of the Cold War and end aid
- 1991 – Barre falls – second period of power vacuum, period of turmoil and
violence, since then no central government since 1991
- 1993-95 – UN humanitarian intervention to address famine
- 2006 – present: ongoing conflicts; ongoing poverty; ongoing disasters #5 What is the difference between civic and ethnic-based nationalism?
- **civic nationalism is related to the nation, whereas ethnic nationalism
pertains to groups of people/heritage/ethnic background***
- Ethonationalism is defined as when an ethnic group has authority and control over
its own social, political and economic affairs. Walter‟s work discusses the threat
Ethonationalism can cause in the political stability in numerous types of states. He
argues that in particular, three forms of states are prone to Ethonationalism. The
first are the technologically advanced states of the Western world, the second
refers to the Marxist-Leninist state and the third are the many developing states
from third world countries. One of the fundamental problems with nationalism is
that it is assumed that nationalism is connected to the loyalty of the state rather
than the loyalty of the nation. This is because individuals feel much more
connected to their state because of its tangibility. On the other hand, a nation
attempts to bring individual of different diversities and cultures together and as
such, it is hard to associate oneself with a nation than it is to with a state.
- In his work, the author uses historical context as a method to portray the change in
nationalism over time. Connor gives the example of the case of Cyprus predating
it back to its colonial origins of being under Great Britain. In essence, it was
colonialism that fueled nationalism to have a reason to exist. After religion had
aligned itself with nationalism because the Church was the center of the Greek
Orthodox religion, violence was a means to expand revolutionary nationalism.
Gradually, riots of different ethnicities from the Greek and Turkish caused two
opposition communities. The Greek Cypriots claimed to fight for union of Cyprus
with Greece whereas the Turkish Cypriots were fighting for a partition whereby
Cyprus would be divided into an equal Greek-and-Turkish area. The fundamental
question that arises is whether ethno-nationalist movements are legitimate
struggles for independence or if they would merely fragment the nation. Thus,
ethnic groups have the capability to seek statehood and question the integrity of
#6 Is Globalization Weakening the Economy?
a. Very complex situation with two sides of the argument.
b. Yes: Globalization is Weakening the State
i. Proliferation of Global Problems
1. Environmental problems
3. Safety from Nuclear Weapons
4. These weaken the nation state because they concern the
whole world. Decisions need to be made on a wider
scale outside of the nation state in order to try and find
solutions to them. Environmental repair cannot be done
without the help of all nations even though some have to do more than others. Also there is lots of
unaccounted for nuclear weaponry that needs to be
located by global parties to keep the world free of a
nuclear war. Finally pandemics spread across borders
and therefore are more than a national problem
ii. Strength of Transnational Corporations
1. Logic is not national, they are trying to make money and
increase capital but NOT to any particular nation
2. Creates a world without borders, a globalized logic keen
only on capital
3. Operate on a logic that is NOT national, care only about
cheep labor and increased profits not local jobs or
national economies rather global ones
iii. Industrial Capital
1. Looking for decreases in the cost of production in both
labor and raw materials
2. Want to increase profit without attaching itself with any
3. Relocation of center of production as service across the
4. North service based economy logic of it means we will
see a migration of labor
5. Migrated labor makes goods cheaper and maximizes
iv. Economic Integration
1. Creating trade blocks (EU, NAFTA etc.)
2. Nation states are loosing power because of these trade
agreements, they are relinquishing power to bigger
3. Proliferation of trade blocks = loss of some original
4. EU = key example of decreasing the power of the nation
a. Same currency and fiscal policy
b. Poor mechanisms of oversight
c. Common tariff
v. Movement of Financial Capital
1. Highly volatile
2. High interest rates is all that they are interested in
3. Invest only where interest is high
4. Problematic because movement of capital can cause a