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Modern State - Essay Example

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Modern State

The concept and framework of the modern state is difficult to define because it involves a combination of historical, economic, political and cultural factors. Historical mythologies and memories are shared, traditional routes of pilgrimage have united the nations of the continent in common religious bonds throughout history, and now they all share the same market (Morphet 517). It is possible to single out the following distinctive features of the modern state: high level of nationalism and multiculturalism, liberal institutions and importance of national culture, integrity and cooperation on the global level.
Collective identity and individual freedom are the main characteristics of the modern state 9Richard Stillman II 23). The state is inevitably involved in recognizing and reproducing particular ethno-cultural groups, and so the politicization of cultural identities is, to some extent, inevitable. Modernization liberates people from fixed social roles and traditional identities, and fosters an ideal of autonomous individuality that encourages individuals to prefer choice and mobility over traditional ascriptive identities (Rubin 65). Modernization theorists argued that this ideal of autonomous individuality conflicts with a deep attachment to one's cultural group, particularly in the case of smaller nations or national minorities (Morphet 517). These smaller groups face strong economic and political pressures to assimilate into larger nations, and theorists assumed that the members of these groups would accept this process, rather than fight to maintain their cultural identity at the price of economic well-being or social mobility. To resist assimilation would require an irrational attachment to an 'ascriptive group' identity that was inconsistent with the modern ideal of autonomous individuality (Rubin 75). So there are many ways that government decisions play a crucial role in sustaining national cultures. This is not to say that governments can only promote one societal culture. So nationalist movements by national minorities are not rejecting the dynamic of modernization and nation-building. The modern state accepts the idea that a modern economy and democratic community requires a diffused common culture (Rubin 64). They are simply arguing that they form their own distinct economy and society within the boundaries of the large state. They are arguing that some countries are not nation-states, but are multination states, containing two or more national societies. In this case, "democracy has two aspects, authorial and editorial; democracy is authorial so far as it gives the collective people direct or indirect control of government; democracy is editorial so far as it gives people, whether in a collective or plural identity, the capacity to challenge government decisions; and as a feature of the plural people editorial democracy may be representative, reactive or regulative in character" (Pettit 527). Many liberal states do not make nationalism per se, but they introduce common use of the term nation and are clearly dedicated to a modern and unified administration, church-state reform, modern education and a liberal constitutional system. For instance, this is based on a general ...Show more


A modern state, as the autonomous regional unit contains the spirit of hierarchically organized ethnic democracy and global integration. The challenge posed by minorities to state administrations has intensified. The paper consists of an introduction, four body paragraphs and conclusion…
Author : bergefranz
Modern State essay example
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