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What Are the Most Important Factors in Explaining the Rise of the Modern State - Essay Example

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This paper 'What Are the Most Important Factors in Explaining the Rise of the Modern State?" focuses on the fact that state refers to the set of collective political institutions, which have sovereignty over a territory, and have a culturally and nationally homogenous population living therein. …
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What Are the Most Important Factors in Explaining the Rise of the Modern State
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Download file to see previous pages Though the existence of the state can be felt in different walks of everyday life, yet it is an intangible whose nature is impossible to grasp. As a political institution, state embodies the concept of sovereignty. Devetak (2007) describes it as a political unit or a country that possesses sovereignty. State can thus be described as a single, unified whole confined within territorial borders. The state is built in a core geographical area with allowances to a certain extent on the boundaries. According to Strayer (1970), a state exists in the hearts and minds of the people. The collective personality of the state renders it immortal. The state is a multi-faced concept that is fuzzy around its edges. Consequently, we cannot develop a single line watertight definition of the state.

Though the state is a changing organization, the long, majestic, and winding history of the development of the state, makes it seem permanent to the masses (Laski, 2003). In the simplest sense, state refers to an abstract entity that comprises a government, a population, and a territory. As such the state is empowered to use legitimate physical force over a given territory.

It is necessary for a state to have a community that has a history of living together with continuous, and not, intermittent contacts. The ancient Greek cities forged alliances against Persia or participated in the ancient Olympics, yet none could develop into a proper state (Strayer, 1970). The state develops around political institutions, which strengthen the sense of political identity in the community (Strayer, 1970). On the other hand, it is also true that the development of political institutions alone doesn’t inevitably lead to the creation of a state (Strayer, 1970).

The nature, properties, and definition, of a nation-state, have presented some of the most enduring questions for the social and political scientists. For over two millennia, political philosophers have debated and discussed the nature of the state, but have failed to arrive at a consensus as to what constitutes a state.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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