Nation | Wikipedia audio article

Nation | Wikipedia audio article


A nation is a stable community of people,
formed on the basis of a common language, territory, economic life, ethnicity, 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 follows: nation, n. (14c) 1. A large group of people having a common origin,
language, and tradition and usu. constituting a political entity. • When a nation is coincident with a state,
the term nation-state is often used…. …
2. A community of people inhabiting a defined
territory and organized under an independent government; a sovereign political state…. 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 “[t]he 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 does not form
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,
“[f]orgetting, 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 Renan says is reaffirmed in a “daily plebiscite”.Benedict Anderson has characterised
a nation as an “imagined community” and Paul James sees it as an “abstract community”. A nation 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 likely never meet. Hence the phrase, “a nation of strangers”
used by such writers as Vance Packard.==Etymology and terminology==
The word nation came from the Old French word nacion – meaning “birth” (naissance), “place
of origin” -, which in turn originates from the Latin word natio (nātĭō) literally
meaning “birth”.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 Country: a geographic territory, which may
or may not have an affiliation with a government or ethnic groupThus the phrase “nations of
the world” could be referring to the top-level governments (as in the name for the United
Nations), various large geographical territories, or various large ethnic groups of the planet. 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.==Medieval nations==
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, Religion and Nationalism, Adrian Hastings argues that England’s Anglo Saxon
kings mobilized mass nationalism in their struggle to repel Norse invasions. Hastings argues that Alfred the Great, in
particular, drew on biblical nationalism, using biblical language in his law code and
that during his reign selected books of the Bible were translated into Old English to
inspire Englishmen to fight to turn back the Norse invaders. Hastings argues for a strong renewal of English
nationalism (following a hiatus after the Norman conquest) beginning with the translation
of the complete bible into English by the Wycliffe circle in the 1380s, arguing that
English nationalism and the English nation have been continuous since that time.Another
prudent example of Medieval nationalism is the Declaration of Arbroath, a document produced
by Scottish nobles and clergy during the 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 and his forces in resisting the occupation and to chastise the English
for having violated Scottish sovereignty without justification. The propaganda campaign supplemented a military
campaign on the part of the Bruce, which after the Battle of Bannockburn was successful and
eventually resulted in the end of England’s occupation and recognition of Scottish independence
on the part of the English crown. The document is widely seen as an early example
of both Scottish nationalism and popular sovereignty. Anthony Kaldellis affirms in Hellenism in
Byzantium (2008) that what is called the Byzantine Empire was the Roman Empire transformed into
a nation-state in Middle Ages. Azar Gat is among the scholars who argue that
China, Korea and Japan were nations by the time of the European Middle Ages.===Use of term nationes by medieval universities
and other medieval institutions===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, who were all born within a pays, spoke the
same language and expected to be ruled by their own familiar law. In 1383 and 1384, while studying theology
at Paris, Jean Gerson was elected twice as a procurator for the French natio. The University of Prague adopted the division
of students into nationes: from its opening in 1349 the studium generale which consisted
of Bohemian, Bavarian, Saxon and Silesian nations. In a similar way, the nationes were segregated
by the Knights Hospitaller of Jerusalem, who maintained at Rhodes the hostels from which
they took their name “where foreigners eat and have their places of meeting, each nation
apart from the others, and a Knight has charge of each one of these hostels, and provides
for the necessities of the inmates according to their religion”, as the Spanish traveller
Pedro Tafur noted in 1436.==Early modern nations==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 Dutch Republic, created by a fully modern political nationalism
rooted in the model of biblical nationalism. In a 2013 article “Biblical nationalism and
the sixteenth-century states”, Diana Muir Appelbaum expands Gorski’s argument to apply
to a series of new, Protestant, sixteenth-century nation states. A similar, albeit broader, argument was made
by Anthony D. Smith in his books, Chosen Peoples: Sacred Sources of National Identity and Myths
and Memories of the Nation.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”.==Social science==
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, and referred
to people sharing a common language, religion, culture, history, and ethnic origins, that
differentiate them from people of other nations. On the other hand, the civic nation was traced
to the French Revolution and ideas deriving from 18th-century French philosophers. It was understood as being centered in a willingness
to “live together”, this producing a nation that results from an act of affirmation. This is the vision, among others, of Ernest
Renan.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.==Debate about a potential future of nations
==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.The theory of the clash of civilizations lies in direct contrast
to cosmopolitan theories about an ever more-connected world that no longer requires nation states. According to political scientist Samuel P.
Huntington, people’s cultural and religious identities will be the primary source of conflict
in the post–Cold War world. The theory was originally formulated in a
1992 lecture at the American Enterprise Institute, which was then developed in a 1993 Foreign
Affairs article titled “The Clash of Civilizations?”, in response to Francis Fukuyama’s 1992 book,
The End of History and the Last Man. Huntington later expanded his thesis in a
1996 book The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order. Huntington began his thinking by surveying
the diverse theories about the nature of global politics in the post–Cold War period. Some theorists and writers argued that human
rights, liberal democracy and capitalist free market economics had become the only remaining
ideological alternative for nations in the post–Cold War world. Specifically, Francis Fukuyama, in The End
of History and the Last Man, argued that the world had reached a Hegelian “end of history”. Huntington believed that while the age of
ideology had ended, the world had reverted only to a normal state of affairs characterized
by cultural conflict. In his thesis, he argued that the primary
axis of conflict in the future will be along cultural and religious lines. 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 corporations, the United
Nations and the European Union and the advent of new information and culture technologies
such as the Internet. However attachment to citizenship and national
identities often remains important.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”.==See also====References====Sources==
Anderson, Benedict (1983). Imagined Communities. London: Verso Publications. Gellner, Ernest (1983). Nations and Nationalism. Cambridge: Blackwell. James, Paul (1996). Nation Formation: Towards a Theory of Abstract
Community. London: Sage Publications. James, Paul (2006). Globalism, Nationalism, Tribalism: Bringing
Theory Back In —Volume 2 of Towards a Theory of Abstract Community. London: Sage Publications. Smith, Anthony (1986). The Ethnic Origins of Nations. London: Blackwell. Bhabha, Homi K. (1990). Nations and Narration. New York: Routledge.==Further reading==
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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