Modern Nation State in Europe

Modern Nation State in Europe
Modern Nation States David Held, Benedict Anderson,13. Ghani, Carnahan, and Lockhart (Princeton article on State-building)

1 David Held explains the rise of the Modern Nation State in Europe in an interesting way: He believes that militarism and democratization were tied together in a mutually reinforcing cycle.

a. Explain what the elements or basic characteristics of a Modern State are.

b. How did the activities of one ruler, who is attempting to outwardly expand and inwardly integrate territory, put him (or her) in contentious relationships with other rulers who were also attempting to build up their states?

c. What did the bourgeois do when rulers attempted to consolidate their territory and extract more resources from them?

d. What are the key elements of the Modern State that result from this military-democratization cycle?
2. For Benedict Anderson, capitalism, language, and the nation are firmly tied together.

a. How did early booksellers play a role in consolidating languages in their attempt to sell books throughout Europe?

b. What is the connection between the development of national languages (French, English, etc.) and the creation of a “national character” or “national myths”?

c. What was the consequence for some states whose borders or dominant national group did not “match” with other national groups under their rule?

3.Ghani, Carnahan, and Lockhart (Princeton article on State-building) discuss the failures of state-building in Afghanistan following the US intervention.

a. What do Ghani et al. mean when they say development agencies (i.e. USAID) “substitute” or “parallel” local government? Why are donors and recipient countries “inherently unequal”?


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