Characteristics of modern nation-state

Describing the characteristics of modern nation-state by giving describing Nation, State &Nation-state

The nation is a culture group residing within the territory of the political state. A group of people are considered a nation if (1) they are permanent residents of a defined territory, (2) they exhibit some form of government, (3) they have a common culture, and (4) they declare themselves to be, and are considered by others to be, sovereign. When a group becomes a nation, older loyalties to family or tribe must be subordinated to the new political order, and a common literature, history, and a sense of a common future develop (Walter, 2004).

States are independent political unit that claim exclusive jurisdiction over defined territories and over all of the people and activities within them. The governments are not always able to exercise this jurisdiction completely, but states can encourage or even force patterns of human activities to conform the political map. (Rubinstein, Service, Science, & &, 2002)

The continuous growth in size and complexity of societies led people to seek political organization first in clans based on kinship, later in tribes that were collections of clans, and finally in city-states. Around the fifteenth century, city-states gradually began to emerge as nation-states. A nation-state is a specific form of state, which exists to provide a sovereign territory for a particular nation, and derives its legitimacy from that function. In the ideal model of the nation-state, the population consists of the nation and only of the nation: the state not only houses it, but protects it and its national identity. The nation-state did not always exist, and most of the present nation-states are located on territory that once belonged to another, non-national, state. They came into existence at least partly as a result of political campaigns by nationalists. The establishment of a nation-state can be considered the central demand of any nationalist movement.

Japan is considered a nation as it has defined territories, government and the residents share a common culture. Moreover Japan traditionally seen as an example of a nation-state and also the largest of the nation states, with population in excess of 120 million. It should be noted that Japan has a small number of minorities such as Ryukyu peoples, Koreans, and Chinese, and on the northern island of Hokkaido, the indigenous Ainu minority. However, they are either numerically insignificant (Ainu), their difference is not as pronounced (though Ryukyuan culture is closely related to Japanese culture).

Japan is also seen as a state due to the limited authority powers of the Emperor he is seen as a ceremonial figurehead, he is defined by the constitution as "the symbol of the state and of the unity of the people". Power is held chiefly by the Prime Minister of Japan and other elected members of the Diet, while sovereignty is vested in the Japanese people (National Diet of Japan, 2007) The Emperor effectively acts as the head of state on diplomatic occasions. Akihito is the current Emperor of Japan. Naruhito, Crown Prince of Japan, stands as next in line to the throne.

Nation-state in Japan express a shared identity of its own population, it has national symbols, above all a national flag and a national anthem, often a wide range of national emblems. In fact it promotes the Japanese national identity in almost every area of human social and cultural life, from the national library to the national airline. Additionally it attempt to create and maintain national unity, and at least a minimal internal uniformity. Nation states have a cultural policy and a language policy for this purpose, and the educational system is often subordinated to this goal. The desire for uniformity had positive economic effects, because nation-states generally try to reduce internal disparities in income and regional GDP. Most have a regional policy for that purpose.

How the United States fits the criteria of and functions as a modern nation-state

The United States acts a modern nation-state as it is a sovereign territory as it includes a group of people who want to have their own government; furthermore Territories are geographical areas under the jurisdiction of a sovereign state, Sovereignty means authority to control, Territories are elements of states and we know that the united states of America have 50 states, the United states maintain borders and subdivide their territory for governmental purposes. The common values shared between Americans since the United States was founded in the 18th century, "Americans have defined themselves not by their racial, religious, and ethnic identity but by their common values and belief in individual freedom" (Friedman, 2008).

Goals of American Foreign Policy

The goals of U.S. foreign policy can be said to include the following: First, the central goal is to protect the nation's physical security. This is a primary goal of every nation's foreign policy, but the United States has been more successful in it than most. In fact, since the War of 1812, no foreign armies have occupied the continental United States. In contrast, the nations of continental Europe were overrun twice in the twentieth century and repeatedly in the nineteenth century. However the threat of terrorism may change the state of our security. A second goal is to protect the physical security of the principal allies of the United States. For instance, since World War II, the United States has committed itself to protect the nations of Western Europe through NATO), as well as to protect nations on other continents: Japan, South Korea, and Israel.

European Union as a transnational entity:
  1. A. Discuss the major events which lead to the establishment of the European Union.
  2. From the ideas of establishing sovereign state characterized by a union "federation" and the association of sovereign member states "confederation" the main development in Europe was on supranational foundationwhich is the method of decision-making in multi-national political communities, wherein power is transferred or delegated to an authority by governments of member states, this was carried out to tomake war unthinkable and materially impossible (Fontaine, & Europejskie, 2003), the most important events which lead to the establishment of the European Union were the foundation of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) in 1952, which was included six nations acted like an international organization serving to unify Western Europe during the Cold War and create the foundation for the modern-day developments of the European Union. The ECSC was the first organization to be based on the principles of supranationalism, later The Treaties of Rome were signed on 25 March 1957, by The Six countries, Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany. The first Treaty established the European Economic Community (EEC) and the second Treaty established the European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC or Euratom). They were the first international organizations to be based on supranationalism, after the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) established a few years prior.

    Later two new communities were created separately from ECSC, The executives of the new communities were called Commissions, as opposed to the "High Authority". The EEC would develop a customs union between members and Euratom would integrate sectors in nuclear energy. In 1973 the European Union started to witness expansion to include new member states. This process began with the Inner Six, who founded the European Coal and Steel Community (the EU's predecessor) in 1952. In 1992 Maastricht Treaty was signed on February 7th which established the European Union when it came into effect on 1 November 1993 became effective; since then, the EU's membership has grown to twenty-seven with the most recent expansion to Bulgaria and Romania in 2007.

  3. Major institutions and nations which forms the European Union.
  4. The European Union is composed of 27 sovereign Member States: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

  5. The contemporary function of the European Union.
  6. The function of the European Union (EU) is to enable closer relations between the member states. This is in order to make the most of the collective abilities of the member states, for example free trade, freedom of movement, freedom of job choice. It enables a lot of the beaucracy that used to be involved with those issues to be by passed. The EU was also formed as a counter balance to the position of the United States as the only global super power. The E.U does not belong to specific country, each member state has a say in the running of the EU. The EU was formed mainly out of need for stability in Europe after the Second World War, and was a product of firstly economic agreements, which still form the main basis of today's EU.

  7. Describe two examples of foreign policy objectives for the European Union.

The first objective of the EU is to use a decisive diplomacy & to be a key player in international issues ranging from global warming to the conflict in the Middle East. The basis for the EU's common foreign and security policy (CFSP) remains 'soft' power: the use of diplomacy - backed where necessary by trade, aid and peacekeepers - to resolve conflicts and bring about international understanding. The second objective is to have governments in charge, foreign and security policy is one area where essential authority remains with EU governments, although the European Commission and, to a lesser extent the European Parliament, are associated with the process. Key decisions are taken by unanimous vote.

Analyze how nation-states and transnational entities engage in foreign policy to achieve their interests. Analyze how nation-states and transnational entities engage in foreign policy to achieve their interests & analyze the consequences of this interaction for international politics.

Nation-states interests basically shapes the foreign policy of a nation, as the Nation-states needs; for instance when development is needed in the economical section the foreign policy of that nation changes to meet the needs for nation-state objectives therefore it starts to establishing or maintaining good relationship with other nations to enhance trade business. Taking the United States as an example; the United States signed the North American free trade agreement (NAFTA) on January 1st 1994. Linking the US, Canada and Mexico. Another example is when Americans felt the lack security after September 11th attacks; the foreign policy of Unites States lunched war on terror which involved in a war against extremists in Afghanistan and another war to disarm Iraq from the possessing alleged weapons of mass destruction, Similarity the EU nation-state which represent the interest of all EU countries by shaping the foreign policy to maintain the peace in Europe and the efforts to reduce global warming.

In conclusion the development of national states has been of vital importance in the modern world. Principally, the loyalties and beliefs of nationalism have been motivating forces in the organization of complex, technological societies in the urban-industrial period. They have also been important forces in establishing and maintaining international antagonisms.


  • Fontaine, Pascal, & Europejskie, Uniwersytet. (2003).Studia europejskie. 2003.
  • Friedman, K. (2008). American identity: ideas, not ethnicity. Retrieved from
  • National Diet of Japan, Initials. (2007, January 10).The Constitution of japan. Retrieved from
  • Rubinstein, David, Service, British, Science, British, & &, Brit. (2002).International bibliography of sociology. Routledge.
  • Walter, C., & Opello, (2004).The Nation-state and global order: a historical introduction to contemporary politics. Boulder, US: LYNNE RINENNER.

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