A Social Theory of the Nation-state: The Political Forms of Modernity Beyond Methodological Nationalism

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Routledge, 2007 - Political Science - 193 pages

A Social Theory of the Nation-State: the political forms of modernity beyond methodological nationalism, construes a novel and original social theory of the nation-state. It rejects nationalistic ways of thinking that take the nation-state for granted as much as globalist orthodoxy that speaks of its current and definitive decline.

Its main aim is therefore to provide a renovated account of the nation-state's historical development and recent global challenges via an analysis of the writings of key social theorists. This reconstruction of the history of the nation-state into three periods:

  • classical (K. Marx, M. Weber, E. Durkheim)
  • modernist (T. Parsons, R. Aron, R. Bendix, B. Moore)
  • contemporary (M. Mann, E. Hobsbawm, U. Beck, M. Castells, N. Luhmann, J. Habermas)

For each phase, it introduces social theory's key views about the nation-state, its past, present and future. In so doing this book rejects methodological nationalism, the claim that the nation-state is the necessary representation of the modern society, because it misrepresents the nation-state's own problematic trajectory in modernity. And methodological nationalism is also rejected because it is unable to capture the richness of social theory's intellectual canon. Instead, via a strong conception of society and a subtler notion of the nation-state, A Social Theory of the Nation-State tries to account for the 'opacity of the nation-state in modernity'.

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About the author (2007)

Daniel Chernilo is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University Alberto Hurtado in Chile and a Fellow of the Centre for Social Theory at the University of Warwick in England.

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