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The Concept of Modern State - Essay Example

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The Concept of Modern State

Although the majority of modern states fit Weber’s definition there are also some states with characteristics that do not fit Weber’s description. For example, failure of the state to have a total monopoly over ‘the means of legitimate physical violence over a definite territory’ or absence of any reasons for addressing the legitimacy of such monopoly as rational-legal does not necessarily mean that the state represents another form of political organization. This state will still noticeably differ from its predecessors (feudal and absolutist states) particularly such aspects as the degree of bureaucratization and the reliance on nationalism as a principle of legitimation (Jackson & Rosberg 1982).Formation and Attributes of the Modern StateThe basic attributes of the modern state developed over centuries. Emergence of the modern state in its current form was preceded by a series of gradual political, economic, cultural and social developments which began in Europe around the 15th century. At that time the largest European states such as England, France and Spain ruled by powerful dynasties underwent the process of centralisation of political and economic levers of control. The centralization involved the delineation of political boundaries when the increasingly powerful dynasties gradually eliminated other sources of power that might threaten their controls. Eventually once-almighty Catholic Church as well as the lesser nobility lost much of their power....
or addressing the legitimacy of such monopoly as rational-legal does not necessarily mean that the state represents another form of political organization. This state will still noticeably differ from its predecessors (feudal and absolutist states) particularly such aspects as the degree of bureaucratization and the reliance on nationalism as a principle of legitimation (Jackson & Rosberg 1982).

Formation and Attributes of the Modern State
The basic attributes of the modern state developed over centuries. Emergence of the modern state in its current form was preceded by a series of gradual political, economic, cultural and social developments which began in Europe around the 15th century. At that time the largest European states such as England, France and Spain ruled by powerful dynasties underwent the process of centralisation of political and economic levers of control. The centralization involved the delineation of political boundaries when the increasingly powerful dynasties gradually eliminated other sources of power that might threaten their controls. Eventually once-almighty Catholic Church as well as the lesser nobility lost much of their power, and the fragmented system of feudal states was replaced by another system characterised by full control over a definite geographical region and unitarism (Llewellen 1983).
The political and religious conflicts that occurred within the course of the centralisation process culminated in the Peace of Westphalia (1648). This treaty is considered one of the important milestones in history of the contemporary system of nation-states: the Peace recognised fixed national boundaries and the sovereignty of states within their territories. Eventually, the system of centralized and increasingly bureaucratic rule known as ...Show more

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In the paper “The Concept of Modern State” the author focuses on the nature of the modern state as a type of political organization. It is too complex to be adequately reflected by a simple functional definition or institutional characteristics of the state…
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