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Chapter

Peter Ferdinand

This chapter deals with institutions and states. Institutions are essentially regular patterns of behaviour that provide stability and predictability to social life. Some institutions are informal, with no formally laid down rules such as the family, social classes, and kinship groups. Others are more formalized, having codified rules and organization. Examples include governments, parties, bureaucracies, legislatures, constitutions, and law courts. The state is defined as sovereign, with institutions that are public. After discussing the concept of institutions and the range of factors that structure political behaviour, the chapter considers the multi-faceted concept of the state. It then looks at the history of how the European type of state and the European state system spread around the world between the seventeenth and twentieth centuries. It also examines the modern state and some of the differences between strong states, weak states, and democratic states.

Chapter

This chapter explores the relationship between the state and institutions and how political scientists theorize about them. It first provides an overview of the concept of institutions and the range of factors that structure political behaviour, noting how political, economic, and social factors determine particular outcomes, which are in turn influenced by ‘structure’ and ‘agency’. It then considers the multifaceted concept of the state and the rise of the European state, focusing in particular on the ways in which the European type of state and state system spread around the world between the seventeenth and twentieth centuries. The chapter goes on to discuss the modern state and some of the differences between strong states, weak states, and democratic states, suggesting that states need legitimacy and robust institutions to be strong.

Chapter

12. The Modern State  

Characteristics, Capabilities, and Consequences

Anna Persson

This chapter examines the concept of the modern state in a developing world context. More specifically, it considers the characteristics and capabilities that define the modern state and the extent to which the state can be regarded as an autonomous actor with the potential to influence development outcomes. After providing an overview of the role of the state as a potential driver of development, the chapter discusses statehood in the contemporary world and how the evolution of the modern state can be understood. It then asks how different patterns of state formation affect the ways that states further consolidate and develop. It also explains the distinction between the ‘weak’ state found in the majority of developing countries and the ‘strong’ state typically found in the industrialized parts of the world. Finally, it tackles the question of institutional reform from ‘the outside’ and its implications for development.

Chapter

This chapter looks at sovereignty. Sovereignty is often defined as ‘supreme authority within a territory’. Analyses of sovereignty often operate across three domains — conceptual, descriptive-explanatory, and normative — with a view to examining the idea of sovereignty and its place in the political landscape. Since World War II, there have been significant international developments designed to consolidate the promise of an international state system committed to the principle of state sovereignty, while tempering its risks and excesses. A major landmark was the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948). These developments raise questions about what sovereignty is, does, and where its limits ought to lie. The chapter then considers borders. Borders vary in the degree to which they are peaceful or contested, fortified, open or closed, and selectively open and closed to whom and what.

Chapter

This chapter explores the UK as a state which is made up of a number of diverse parts. These parts are Wales, Scotland, England, and the territory of Northern Ireland. Each part has its own characteristics which show through in the political and constitutional makeup of the UK as a whole. The chapter describes these different components. It discusses the various differences between them and looks at issues related to maintaining coherence. Using theoretical models, it analyses the nature of the UK as the state, the nation state, and the multinational state. It looks at the concepts of consociationalism, the unitary state, the union state, and federation. It provides a number of practical examples which demonstrate how these ideas operate in the real world. It also considers the Welsh language, territorial variation in the party system, the ‘English Votes for English Laws’ procedure in the UK House of Commons; and the ‘Barnett’ formular for the allocation of funding in the UK.

Chapter

This chapter examines the implications of globalization for sovereign statehood. It begins with a discussion of the debate over the consequence of globalization for nation-states, followed by an analysis of the modalities of statehood as they have developed over the past several decades. In particular, it explores how advanced capitalist states are transforming from modern into post-modern states. It also considers the emergence of weak post-colonial states out of special circumstances—the globalization of the institution of sovereignty in the context of decolonization. Furthermore, it looks at modernizing states such as China, India, Russia, and Brazil, which combine features of the modern, post-modern, and weak post-colonial states. The chapter concludes with an overview of changes in statehood that place the discipline of comparative politics in a new setting.

Chapter

This chapter discusses what is often regarded as the central institution, not only of domestic or national political order but also of current international or global order—the state. Alongside the state, we must also consider the idea of the nation and the ideology of nationalism—perhaps the most powerful political ideology to emerge in the modern world. There is, however, another form of international political order that has actually been far more common throughout history, and that is empire. With the rise of modernity from around the beginning of the seventeenth century, we also encounter the rise of the modern state and state system in Europe along with ideas about sovereignty, citizenship, the nation-state, and democracy. The chapter then looks at the effective globalization of the European state system through modern imperialism and colonialism and the extent to which these have been productive of contemporary global order.

Chapter

This chapter examines the impact of colonialism on post-colonial political development. It first provides an overview of the post-colonial world, noting how politics in developing countries are influenced by their pre-colonial heritage as well as colonial and post-colonial experiences. In particular, it considers post-colonial theory, which addresses the continuing impact that colonialism has on post-colonial development. The chapter proceeds by describing pre-colonial states and societies such as Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Australasia, where varying patterns of state formation influenced both the kind of colonization that they experienced and their post-colonial development. It also considers colonial patterns in the post-colonial world and the occurrence of decolonization before concluding with an assessment of the legacy of colonialism to post-colonial states.

Chapter

Gianfranco Poggi

This chapter examines how the nation-state came into being and how it became dominant as a political unit. It first presents a general and streamlined portrait of the state—a concept that sociologists inspired by Max Weber might call an ideal type. In particular, it considers some of the characteristics of a nation-state, including monopoly of legitimate violence, territoriality, sovereignty, plurality, and relation to the population. The chapter proceeds by discussing a more expansive concept of the nation-state, taking into account the role of law, centralized organization, the distinction between state and society, religion and the market, the public sphere, the burden of conflict, and citizenship and nation. The chapter also describes five paths in state formation and concludes with an assessment of three main phases which different European states have followed in somewhat varying sequences: consolidation of rule, rationalization of rule, and expansion of rule.

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This chapter examines the concept of nation, its relationship with the state, and the phenomenon of nationalism. The concept of nation implies a notion of common biological descent and may thus be associated with ‘race’. In turn, nationalist ideas may be expressed in racist forms, although we must exercise caution when relating nationalism to racism. The chapter first considers the many different ways that the phenomenon of nationalism has been theorized, focusing on nationalist ideology in relation to the nation-state, as expressed in the principle of self-determination, and patriotism as a form of nationalism. It then explores the phenomenon of the multinational state and of sub-state nationalism and discusses three forms of nationalism: ethnic nationalism, civic nationalism, and anti-colonial nationalism. It also shows how nationalism has been faring in the era of globalization.

Chapter

This chapter examines whether it is possible for human beings to live in a state of nature. Sometimes it is claimed that not only have human beings always lived under a state, but that it is the only way they possibly could live. On this view, which is often associated with Aristotle, the state exists naturally in the sense of being natural to human beings. In response, some theorists argue that human beings have been able to live without the state. To elucidate the issue further, this chapter analyses the views of Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. It also considers the arguments of anarchists and suggests that the gap between rational anarchism and the defence of the state is vanishingly small.

Chapter

This chapter assesses culture as a driver of democracy. Despite the popularity of cultural theories of democracy, there is little empirical evidence to support them. The chapter highlights that although research does not support the notion that cultural factors cause democratization, there is some evidence indicating that culture—as expressed through values, attitudes, and beliefs—affects the persistence of stable democracy. Once democracy has emerged, democracy is most likely to deepen and endure where elites gradually adopt a values-based commitment to the rules of the democratic game. Beyond culture, the chapter also examines several historical drivers of democracy. In particular, it focuses on the most widely discussed social and historical drivers in the academic literature, including state identity and boundaries, ethnic cleavages, and historical experience with democracy and dictatorship. For each of the drivers, the chapter considers how they influence both democratization and democratic consolidation.

Chapter

This chapter examines the basics of political philosophy, focusing in particular on what makes the state legitimate, or what is the ideal state we should be striving for. It first considers the use of normative analysis by political philosophers — that is, they are concerned with asking how the state ought to be organized and how much freedom ought individuals be granted. It then discusses the issues of consent and democracy, social contract, and the general will, along with utilitarianism as an account of state legitimacy. It also explores liberalism and liberty in relation to the state, Marxism and communitarianism, the idea of a just state, and how the traditional state focus of political theory has been challenged by globalization. Finally, it describes the influence of anarchism on modern politics and the position of anarchists with respect to the ideal state.

Chapter

Simon Bulmer and Christian Lequesne

This chapter provides an overview of the European Union and its member states. It first explains why the member states matter in the EU before discussing the role of member states in the EU, with particular emphasis on three approaches to understanding member state–EU relations: intergovernmentalism, institutionalism, and governance approaches. It then examines the Europeanization of the member states as well as the revival of domestic politics approaches, which claim that it is impossible to understand the EU in light of its politicization during the 2010s. It concludes by presenting the logic and structure of this volume: how the relationship between the EU and its member states will be portrayed in the chapters that follow.

Book

Edited by Simon Bulmer and Christian Lequesne

The Member States of the European Union combines a study of individual member states with an examination of the broader process of Europeanization. Examining both sides of this crucial relationship, this text provides a useful guide to EU member state relations. This third edition has been updated to summer 2019 and includes chapters on eight member states from different geographical regions and dates of accession. These are followed by seven thematic chapters on the Europeanization of structures, actors, and processes within the pre-Brexit EU 28. The Member States of the European Union helps understanding the influence of Member States in the EU but also the impact the EU has on the domestic institutions, politics, and policies of each member state.

Chapter

This chapter discusses the distinction between democratic and undemocratic states, noting that it is not only about whether there are elections: it is about whether or not it there is the rule of law. When both conditions are met, elections are free and fair and the government is accountable to the electorate. When laws can be bent or broken, unfair elections represent the will of governors more than that of the governed. The chapter first defines democratic states and outlines the characteristics of a democratic state before assessing the state of states today. It then considers three kinds of undemocratic states, namely: constitutional oligarchy, plebiscitarian autocracy, and unaccountable autocracy. It also examines how democratization has more often come about by trial and error rather than through gradual evolution and concludes by analysing the dynamics of democratic and undemocratic states.

Chapter

This chapter examines the existing debate on the extent and nature of globalization and its implications for contemporary International Relations theory. It first considers the stakes involved in the globalization debate for a range of core theoretical perspectives in IR. It shows how the literature on globalization has developed over time, revealing how the nature of the debate has changed, and illustrates this both theoretically and empirically with a case study of the impact of globalization on the development of the welfare state before and since the global financial crisis. The chapter also considers the empirical case against the globalization thesis, what a competition state is, and how it might confer a competitive advantage upon a national economy in an era of globalization. The chapter suggests that the current level of interdependence within the international system, although considerable, is not easily reconciled with the stronger variants of the globalization thesis.

Chapter

This chapter examines the existing debate on the extent and nature of globalization and its implications for contemporary International Relations theory. It first considers the stakes involved in the globalization debate for a range of core theoretical perspectives in IR. It shows how the literature on globalization has developed over time, revealing how the nature of the debate has changed, and illustrates this both theoretically and empirically with a case study of the impact of globalization on the development of the welfare state before and since the global financial crisis. It also considers the empirical case against the globalization thesis what a competition state is and how it might confer a competitive advantage upon a national economy in an era of globalization. The chapter suggests that the current level of interdependence within the international system, although considerable, is not easily reconciled with the stronger variants of the globalization thesis.

Chapter

Simon Bulmer and Christian Lequesne

This chapter focuses on the current state of the EU and the prospects for Europeanization. Resistance to Europeanization exists, yet the EU still exercises continued attraction to states on its periphery that are waiting for the opportunity of EU membership. In reviewing the academic debate on forms of resistance to Europeanization we first explore the literature on EU disintegration, before turning to concrete examples of member state resistance. Prompted by Brexit, as a concrete manifestation of such resistance, we then assess the difficulty for a member state to leave the EU and its sphere of influence completely. Finally, we turn to the state of play with enlargement, also highlighting the impact of Europeanization upon European states outside the EU.

Chapter

Kees van Kersbergen and Philip Manow

This chapter examines the emergence, expansion, variation, and transformation of the welfare state. It first considers the meaning of the welfare state, before discussing three perspectives that explain the emergence of the welfare state: the functionalist approach, the class mobilization approach, and a literature emphasizing the impact of state institutions and the relative autonomy of bureaucratic elites. It then describes the expansion of the welfare state, taking into account the impact of social democracy, neocorporatism and the international economy, risk redistribution, Christian democracy and Catholic social doctrine, and secular trends. It also explores variations among developed welfare states, as well as the effects of the welfare state, and concludes with an analysis of the challenges and dynamics of contemporary welfare states. The chapter shows that the welfare state is a democratic state that guarantees social protection as a right attached to citizenship.