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Nation-Building And Social Solidarity

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Chapter Summary

Much of what one knows about &t;nation-building&t; derives from the historical experiences of Europe and America. In a comparison of America and Europe, Europe has government producing social order in areas which the mass of people want, and in areas which only elites want, reflecting their self-serving interests, paternalism, and intellectual fads. The large states of Europe had recent traditions of aristocratic arrogance and militarism lacking in the small states of northern Europe. One reason for ineffective government is when the leaders of democracies are no longer the notables of the communities they represent, but are merely people who run for office as their way of making a living, or occasionally out of boredom or ideological fervor. At times in recent history many people in European states have exhibited romantic nationalism, fantasizing that the state can become like a small, convivial community with state elites functioning like the local aristocracy.

Keywords: European states; nation-building; social solidarity



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