Do modern forms of administration and discipline undermine the liberties and rights promised by the modern state? Introduction In the current context of modern state administration, issues on whether these forms of administration undermine the liberties and rights which have long been promised and secured by the modern state have been raised…
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An initial discussion of what the modern state represents shall be presented, followed by an evaluation of the current forms of administration. A deeper analysis of how these modern forms of administration impact on the modern state shall then be presented. Body The modern state The Montevideo Convention explains that a state is one which possesses the following elements: a defined territory, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter to government relations. This criterion for statehood was arrived at in 1935 and supported by the world in general. Max Weber presents another conceptualization of the state, one which is derived from the early beginnings of statehood. He defines the state to be “a human continuity that claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory” (Weber, 1958, p. 78). Weber’s definition also points out that the state must have the absolute control over the legitimate application of force (New York University, 2002). The concept of legitimacy has not always been easy to define with various actions being carried out by the state in the name of such legitimate authority; however, these actions have not always been technically legitimate. Moreover, for purposes of securing state functions, the components of legitimacy have not been strictly met (New York University, 2002). The use of force which is attributed to the state is therefore not always based on a legitimate exercise of power. This also suggests that a state’s use of force may not always need to be legitimate, for as long as the perceptions of the people are assuaged in terms of the legitimacy of such force (New York University, 2002). Another element of Weber’s concept of the state is on the monopoly by the state on the legitimate exercise of force. This monopoly has always been a source of issue among theorists and scholars because there have been acknowledged instances where non-state actors have legitimately used force (Foucault, 1980). This was seen in instances when force was used by non-state actors like the Irish Republican Army, the Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the Palestine areas, and the exercise of force by the Al-Qaeda in Iraq; these actions are considered by many experts as a legal application of force in response to foreign interference and oppression (New York University, 2002). However, in terms of other perspectives on the use of force, one’s side in the conflict can often make a difference on the judgment made on such force. The bottom line is that it is not clearly apparent that a state actually has a monopoly on the application of force (New York University, 2002). In effect, other scholars have not actively considered the use of the term monopoly in characterizing a state’s application of force. Modern administration Political analysts discuss that the modern state has now a significant control over the practice and use of violence in the country. They echo Max Weber as he expresses that the state’s exclusive right to use force is crucial to its ability to function. These idea for the modern state was not however true during the 16th and 17th century when the concept of the modern state was still being introduced (Hirst, 1997). At that time, small and contentious political entities did not have the right to claim these territories, and on the other hand, other leaders
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