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2. The Emergence of Nation-States

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Chapter Summary

Historically, the emergence of nation-states involves several distinct but related processes: the hierarchical location of final authority, that is, sovereignty; the acceptance of the principle that such sovereignty is territorially demarcated and circumscribed; and nation building. This chapter discusses how these processes interacted and sometimes contradicted each other, and how some political communities have been able to create vibrant nation-states whereas others continue in their struggles to do so. Furthermore, the chapter shows how changes in the international environment have dramatically changed the pattern of how nation-states emerge. Nation building involves not only the creation of a community that identifies with the state; it simultaneously required the displacement of rival forms of communal identity, such as kinship or clan. Decolonization changed both the process of state formation and the nature of anti-colonial struggles.

Keywords: communal identity; decolonization; nation-states; political communities; territorial sovereignty

10.1163/9789004266179_032
/content/books/b9789004266179_032
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