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From: Zeynep Demirbilek, email@example.com
I am a trainee journalist in City University in
London and currently I am doing a report on
"nation-state". I was wondering if you could
help me by giving your own point of view about the
questions below. Would really appreciate the help.
1- How do you describe a "nation-state"?
2- Is the nation-state still alive and do you think it is needed?
*3- What is the significance of nation-state in contemporary world politics and economics?
Thank you and looking forward to receive your answers.
"nation-state" is the political expression
of a nation. A "nation" is a specific
ethno-cultural community. It's not entirely ethnic,
because individuals of various races can usually be
assimilated over time, but it's not entirely cultural
either, as the "Universal Nation" ideologues
in the U.S. argue. The term is derived from the Latin
verb "to be born" and implies a link by
blood - an extended family.
2] Nation-states are very much alive - they are the inevitable result of modernization, which puts a premium on linguistic unity. Hence the break-up of the syncretic Marxist post-national polities of Yugoslavia
and the U.S.S.R. On the other hand, the urge to abolish the nation-state is alive too - EU, U.S. immigration policy - and seems to spring from similarly deep psychological causes - e.g., self-hatred, minority alienation and New Class self-interest etc. So it's a pitched battle. (See articles on the topic)
3] My own view is that the nation-state is as essential to liberty as property rights are to free markets. Without them, you get chaos and an inevitable withdrawal of consent by the governed.
January 31, 2001