A NATION is a stable community of people, formed on the basis of a common language, territory, economic life, ethnicity and/or psychological make-up manifested in a common culture . A nation is distinct from a people , and is more abstract, and more overtly political than an ethnic group . It is a cultural-political community that has become conscious of its autonomy, unity, and particular interests.
Black\'s Law Dictionary defines a nation as:
A people, or aggregation of men, existing in the form of an organized jural society, usually inhabiting a distinct portion of the earth, speaking the same language, using the same customs, possessing historic continuity, and distinguished from other like groups by their racial origin and characteristics, and generally, but not necessarily, living under the same government and sovereignty .
Ernest Renan 's What is a Nation? (1882) declares that "race is confused with nation and a sovereignty analogous to that of really existing peoples is attributed to ethnographic or, rather linguistic groups", and "The truth is that there is no pure race and that to make politics depend upon ethnographic analysis is to surrender it to a chimera", echoing a sentiment of civic nationalism . He also claims that a nation is not formed on the basis of dynasty , language , religion , geography , or shared interests . Rather, "A nation is a soul, a spiritual principle. Two things, which in truth are but one, constitute this soul or spiritual principle. One lies in the past, one in the present. One is the possession in common of a rich legacy of memories; the other is present-day consent, the desire to live together, the will to perpetuate the value of the heritage that one has received in an undivided form", emphasizing the democratic and historical aspects of what constitutes a nation, although, "Forgetting, I would even go so far as to say historical error, is a crucial factor in the creation of a nation". "A nation is therefore a large-scale solidarity", which he said is reaffirmed in a "daily plebiscite ".
The nation has been described by Benedict Anderson as an "imagined community " and by Paul James as an "abstract community". It is an imagined community in the sense that the material conditions exist for imagining extended and shared connections. It is an abstract community in the sense that it is objectively impersonal, even if each individual in the nation experiences him or herself as subjectively part of an embodied unity with others. For the most part, members of a nation remain strangers to each other and will never likely meet. Hence the phrase, "a nation of strangers" used by such writers as Vance Packard . According to Homi K. Bhabha nation is an ambivalent construction.It is a cultural determinant.It is something between a concept and object because there is a geography and at the same time a mental image of nation.
* 1 Etymology and terminology
* 2 Medieval nations
* 2.1 Use of term nationes by medieval universities and other medieval institutions
* 3 Early modern nations * 4 Social science * 5 Black nationalism * 6 Debate about a potential evolution or end of nations * 7 See also * 8 References * 9 Sources * 10 Further reading
ETYMOLOGY AND TERMINOLOGY
The word nation came to English from the
The word "nation" is sometimes used as synonym for:
State (polity) or sovereign state : a government which controls a
specific territory, which may or may not be associated with any
particular ethnic group
Thus the phrase "nations of the world" could be referring to the
top-level governments (as in the name for the
Depending on the meaning of "nation" used, the term "nation state " could be used to distinguish larger states from small city states , or could be used to distinguish multinational states from those with a single ethnic group.
In her book Kingdoms and Communities in Western Europe 900–1300,
Susan Reynolds argues that many European medieval kingdoms were
nations in the modern sense except that political participation in
nationalism was available only to a limited prosperous and literate
class. In his book The Construction of Nationhood: Ethnicity,
Another prudent example of Medieval nationalism is the Declaration of
Arbroath , a document produced by Scottish nobles and clergy during
Scottish Wars of Independence . The purpose of the document was to
demonstrate to the Pope that Scotland was indeed a nation of its own,
with its own unique culture, history and language and that it was
indeed an older nation than England. The document went on to justify
the actions of
Robert the Bruce
Anthony Kaldellis affirms in Hellenism in Byzantium (2008) that what
is called the
USE OF TERM NATIONES BY MEDIEVAL UNIVERSITIES AND OTHER MEDIEVAL INSTITUTIONS
Main article: Nation (university)
A significant early use of the term nation, as natio, occurred at
Medieval universities to describe the colleagues in a college or
students, above all at the
University of Paris
In a similar way, the nationes were segregated by the Knights
Hospitaller of Jerusalem , who maintained at
EARLY MODERN NATIONS
See also: Nation state
In his article, "The Mosaic Moment: An Early Modernist Critique of
the Modernist Theory of Nationalism",
Philip S. Gorski argues that the
first modern nation was the
In her book Nationalism: Five Roads to Modernity, Liah Greenfeld argued that nationalism was invented in England by 1600. According to Greenfeld, England was “the first nation in the world".
In the late 20th century, many social scientists argued that there
were two types of nations, the civic nation of which France was the
principal example and the ethnic nation exemplified by the German
peoples. The German tradition was conceptualized as originating with
early 19th-century philosophers, like
Johann Gottlieb Fichte
Present day analysis tend to be based in socio-historical studies about the building of national identity sentiments, trying to identify the individual and collective mechanisms, either conscient or non-conscient, intended or un-intended. According to some of these studies, it seems that the State often plays a significant role, and communications, particularly of economic content, also have a high significance.
The 18th century brought an alteration to the meaning of the term
"nation", which became more narrowly referred to as a group with a
recognizable and sovereign government with physical borders. This new
definition aligns more with the concept of a nation-state. The nation
began to emerge in the late 18th century as the leading form of
government and social organization. In the Americas, the catalyst
that brought about this change in meaning was the influence of the
This change occurred in the New World as Africans were brought as
enslaved peoples. The white population of the New World considered
these aliens to be in one category of nation that was based entirely
on color and continent of origin. The identity of the enslaved at the
time was then shaped by their skin color rather than what nation or
tribe they truly originated from. Prior to the 18th and 19th
centuries, the term mainly referred to a group of people unified by
language, region and cultural background; what is now considered to be
one's ethnicity. It was through the process of emancipation and the
end of the slave trade that the concept of nation began to change. As
the previously enslaved began to fight for rights they had to discover
what kind of rights they were searching for. It was in this process of
emancipation that nationality began to take on a different meaning.
However, within the diaspora, particularly among groups that have been politicized, the term nation has been used to describe a more abstract national experience, one that transcends physical borders and language differences. This description of nation is pinned to the shared experience of being radicalized and termed as Black. The expansion of Black nationalism demonstrates that although some expanded the view that nation requires definable boundaries, those who shared the experience of the diaspora also found a nationality among themselves.
DEBATE ABOUT A POTENTIAL EVOLUTION OR END OF NATIONS
Clash of Civilizations ,
There is an ongoing debate about the future of nations − about whether this framework will persist as is and whether there are viable or developing alternatives.
Postnationalism is the process or trend by which nation states and
national identities lose their importance relative to supranational
and global entities. Several factors contribute to its aspects
including economic globalization , a rise in importance of
multinational corporations , the internationalization of financial
markets, the transfer of socio-political power from national
authorities to supernational entities, such as multinational
Transnational communities are social groups that emerge from mutual interaction and shared culture across national boundaries, oriented around a common project − such as the solving of a global issue − or 'imagined' identity.
Humans like being around people like themselves. Other types of local communities − such as cities − might gain identity, influence and relevance as well as see increased sociocultural identification.
Jan Zielonka of the University of Oxford states that "the future structure and exercise of political power will resemble the medieval model more than the Westphalian one" with the latter being about "concentration of power, sovereignty and clear-cut identity" and neo-medievalism meaining "overlapping authorities, divided sovereignty, multiple identities and governing institutions, and fuzzy borders".
In the view of Ian Goldin , head of the Oxford Martin School, which analyses global problems, such networks must emerge. He quotes Slaughter, saying "Networked problems require a networked response" and states that existing institutions such as the World Bank and UN agencies are structurally unable to deal with problems emerging from global interconnectivity, such as economic instability , pandemics , climate change and cybersecurity .
For a society to survive, its collective behaviour must be as complex as the challenges it faces and national agendas seem to repeatedly trump the global good in such vital matters. As both city or regional administrations and cooperation on the international level often prove to be more effective in solving critical issues than traditional models and as identities of transnational or nation-separate cultures develop the framework of nations might change, be extended or even be somewhat abolished.
* ^ A B Black\'s Law Dictionary, 4th Ed
* ^ James, Paul (1996).
* Anderson, Benedict (1983). Imagined Communities. London: Verso
* Gellner, Ernest (1983). Nations and Nationalism. Cambridge:
* James, Paul (1996).
* Manent, Pierre (2007). "What is a Nation?", The Intercollegiate Review, Vol. XLII, No. 2, pp. 23–31. * Renan, Ernest (1896). "What is a Nation?" In: The Poetry of the Celtic Races, and Other Essays. London: The Walter Scott Publishing Co., pp. 61–83.
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