A state is a political organization with a centralized government that exerts authority within a certain geographical territory. There is not a single, undisputed, definition of what constitutes a state. A widely-used definition is a state being a polity that, within a given territory, maintains a monopoly on the use of force.
Some states are sovereign, while other states are subject to external sovereignty or hegemony, where supreme authority lies in another state. The term "state" also applies to federated states that are members of a federation, in which sovereignty is shared between member states and a federal body.
Speakers of American English often use the terms "state" and "government" as synonyms, with both words referring to an organized political group that exercises authority over a particular territory. In British and Commonwealth English, "state" is the only term that has that meaning, while "the government" instead refers to the ministers and officials who set the political policy for the territory, something that speakers of American English refer to as "the administration".
Many human societies have been governed by states for millennia; however, for most of pre-history people lived in stateless societies. The first states arose about 5,500 years ago in conjunction with rapid growth of cities, invention of writing, and codification of new forms of religion. Over time, a variety of different forms developed, employing a variety of justifications for their existence (such as divine right, the theory of the social contract, etc.). Today, the modern nation-state is the predominant form of state to which people are subject.
The word state and its cognates in some other European languages (stato in Italian, estado in Spanish and Portuguese, état in French, Staat in German) ultimately derive from the Latin word status, meaning "condition, circumstances".
With the revival of the Roman law in 14th-century Europe, the term came to refer to the legal standing of persons (such as the various "estates of the realm" – noble, common, and clerical), and in particular the special status of the king. The highest estates, generally those with the most wealth and social rank, were those that held power. The word also had associations with Roman ideas (dating back to Cicero) about the "status rei publicae", the "condition of public matters". In time, the word lost its reference to particular social groups and became associated with the legal order of the entire society and the apparatus of its enforcement.
The early 16th-century works of Machiavelli (especially The Prince) played a central role in popularizing the use of the word "state" in something similar to its modern sense. The contrasting of church and state still dates to the 16th century. The North American colonies were called "states" as early as the 1630s. The expression L'Etat, c'est moi ("I am the State") attributed to Louis XIV of France is probably apocryphal, recorded in the late 18th century.
There is no academic consensus on the most appropriate definition of the state. The term "state" refers to a set of different, but interrelated and often overlapping, theories about a certain range of political phenomena. The act of defining the term can be seen as part of an ideological conflict, because different definitions lead to different theories of state function, and as a result validate different political strategies. According to Jeffrey and Painter, "if we define the 'essence' of the state in one place or era, we are liable to find that in another time or space something which is also understood to be a state has different 'essential' characteristics".
Different definitions of the state often place an emphasis either on the ‘means’ or the ‘ends’ of states. Means-related definitions include those by Max Weber and Charles Tilly, both of whom define the state according to its violent means. For Weber, the state "is a human community that (successfully) claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory” (Politics as a Vocation), while Tilly characterises them as "coercion-wielding organisations" (Coercion, Capital, and European States).
Ends-related definitions emphasis instead the teleological aims and purposes of the state. Marxist thought regards the ends of the state as being the perpetuation of class domination in favour of the ruling class which, under the capitalist mode of production, is the bourgeoisie. The state exists to defend the ruling class's claims to private property and its capturing of surplus profits at the expense of the proletariat. Indeed, Marx claimed that "the executive of the modern state is nothing but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie" (Communist Manifesto).
Liberal thought provides another possible teleology of the state. According to John Locke, the goal of the state/commonwealth was "the preservation of property" (Second Treatise on Government), with 'property' in Locke's work referring not only to personal possessions but also to one's life and liberty. On this account, the state provides the basis for social cohesion and productivity, creating incentives for wealth creation by providing guarantees of protection for one's life, liberty and personal property.
The most commonly used definition is Max Weber's, which describes the state as a compulsory political organization with a centralized government that maintains a monopoly of the legitimate use of force within a certain territory. General categories of state institutions include administrative bureaucracies, legal systems, and military or religious organizations.
Another commonly accepted definition of the state is the one given at the Montevideo Convention on Rights and Duties of States in 1933. It provides that "[t]he state as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications: (a) a permanent population; (b) a defined territory; (c) government; and (d) capacity to enter into relations with the other states." And that "[t]he federal state shall constitute a sole person in the eyes of international law."
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a state is "a. an organized political community under one government; a commonwealth; a nation. b. such a community forming part of a federal republic, esp the United States of America".
Confounding the definition problem is that "state" and "government" are often used as synonyms in common conversation and even some academic discourse. According to this definition schema, the states are nonphysical persons of international law, governments are organizations of people. The relationship between a government and its state is one of representation and authorized agency.
States may be classified by political philosophers as sovereign if they are not dependent on, or subject to any other power or state. Other states are subject to external sovereignty or hegemony where ultimate sovereignty lies in another state. Many states are federated states which participate in a federal union. A federated state is a territorial and constitutional community forming part of a federation. (Compare confederacies or confederations such as Switzerland.) Such states differ from sovereign states in that they have transferred a portion of their sovereign powers to a federal government.
One can commonly and sometimes readily (but not necessarily usefully) classify states according to their apparent make-up or focus. The concept of the nation-state, theoretically or ideally co-terminous with a "nation", became very popular by the 20th century in Europe, but occurred rarely elsewhere or at other times. In contrast, some states have sought to make a virtue of their multi-ethnic or multi-national character (Habsburg Austria-Hungary, for example, or the Soviet Union), and have emphasised unifying characteristics such as autocracy, monarchical legitimacy, or ideology. Imperial states have sometimes promoted notions of racial superiority. Other states may bring ideas of commonality and inclusiveness to the fore: note the res publica of ancient Rome and the Rzeczpospolita of Poland-Lithuania which finds echoes in the modern-day republic. The concept of temple states centred on religious shrines occurs in some discussions of the ancient world. Relatively small city-states, once a relatively common and often successful form of polity, have become rarer and comparatively less prominent in modern times, although a number of them survive as federated states, like the present day German city-states, or as otherwise autonomous entities with limited sovereignty, like Hong Kong, Gibraltar and Ceuta. To some extent, urban secession, the creation of a new city-state (sovereign or federated), continues to be discussed in the early 21st century in cities such as London.
A state can be distinguished from a government. The state is the organization while the government is the particular group of people, the administrative bureaucracy that controls the state apparatus at a given time. That is, governments are the means through which state power is employed. States are served by a continuous succession of different governments. States are immaterial and nonphysical social objects, whereas governments are groups of people with certain coercive powers.
Each successive government is composed of a specialized and privileged body of individuals, who monopolize political decision-making, and are separated by status and organization from the population as a whole.
States can also be distinguished from the concept of a "nation", where "nation" refers to a cultural-political community of people. A nation-state refers to a situation where a single ethnicity is associated with a specific state.
In the classical thought, the state was identified with both political society and civil society as a form of political community, while the modern thought distinguished the nation state as a political society from civil society as a form of economic society. Thus in the modern thought the state is contrasted with civil society.
Antonio Gramsci believed that civil society is the primary locus of political activity because it is where all forms of "identity formation, ideological struggle, the activities of intellectuals, and the construction of hegemony take place." and that civil society was the nexus connecting the economic and political sphere. Arising out of the collective actions of civil society is what Gramsci calls "political society", which Gramsci differentiates from the notion of the state as a polity. He stated that politics was not a "one-way process of political management" but, rather, that the activities of civil organizations conditioned the activities of political parties and state institutions, and were conditioned by them in turn. Louis Althusser argued that civil organizations such as church, schools, and the family are part of an "ideological state apparatus" which complements the "repressive state apparatus" (such as police and military) in reproducing social relations.
Given the role that many social groups have in the development of public policy and the extensive connections between state bureaucracies and other institutions, it has become increasingly difficult to identify the boundaries of the state. Privatization, nationalization, and the creation of new regulatory bodies also change the boundaries of the state in relation to society. Often the nature of quasi-autonomous organizations is unclear, generating debate among political scientists on whether they are part of the state or civil society. Some political scientists thus prefer to speak of policy networks and decentralized governance in modern societies rather than of state bureaucracies and direct state control over policy.
Most political theories of the state can roughly be classified into two categories. The first are known as "liberal" or "conservative" theories, which treat capitalism as a given, and then concentrate on the function of states in capitalist society. These theories tend to see the state as a neutral entity separated from society and the economy. Marxist and anarchist theories on the other hand, see politics as intimately tied in with economic relations, and emphasize the relation between economic power and political power. They see the state as a partisan instrument that primarily serves the interests of the upper class.
Anarchists believe that the state is inherently an instrument of domination and repression, no matter who is in control of it. Anarchists note that the state possesses the monopoly on the legal use of violence. Unlike Marxists, anarchists believe that revolutionary seizure of state power should not be a political goal. They believe instead that the state apparatus should be completely dismantled, and an alternative set of social relations created, which are not based on state power at all.
Marx and Engels were clear in that the communist goal was a classless society in which the state would have "withered away", replaced only by "administration of things". Their views are found throughout their Collected Works, and address past or then extant state forms from an analytical and tactical viewpoint, but not future social forms, speculation about which is generally antithetical to groups considering themselves Marxist but who – not having conquered the existing state power(s) – are not in the situation of supplying the institutional form of an actual society. To the extent that it makes sense, there is no single "Marxist theory of state", but rather several different purportedly "Marxist" theories have been developed by adherents of Marxism.
Marx's early writings portrayed the bourgeois state as parasitic, built upon the superstructure of the economy, and working against the public interest. He also wrote that the state mirrors class relations in society in general, acting as a regulator and repressor of class struggle, and as a tool of political power and domination for the ruling class. The Communist Manifesto claimed that the state to be nothing more than "a committee for managing the common affairs of the bourgeoisie.
For Marxist theorists, the role of the non-proletarian state is determined by its function in the global capitalist order. Ralph Miliband argued that the ruling class uses the state as its instrument to dominate society by virtue of the interpersonal ties between state officials and economic elites. For Miliband, the state is dominated by an elite that comes from the same background as the capitalist class. State officials therefore share the same interests as owners of capital and are linked to them through a wide array of social, economic, and political ties.
Gramsci's theories of state emphasized that the state is only one of the institutions in society that helps maintain the hegemony of the ruling class, and that state power is bolstered by the ideological domination of the institutions of civil society, such as churches, schools, and mass media.
Pluralists view society as a collection of individuals and groups, who are competing for political power. They then view the state as a neutral body that simply enacts the will of whichever groups dominate the electoral process. Within the pluralist tradition, Robert Dahl developed the theory of the state as a neutral arena for contending interests or its agencies as simply another set of interest groups. With power competitively arranged in society, state policy is a product of recurrent bargaining. Although pluralism recognizes the existence of inequality, it asserts that all groups have an opportunity to pressure the state. The pluralist approach suggests that the modern democratic state's actions are the result of pressures applied by a variety of organized interests. Dahl called this kind of state a polyarchy.
Pluralism has been challenged on the ground that it is not supported by empirical evidence. Citing surveys showing that the large majority of people in high leadership positions are members of the wealthy upper class, critics of pluralism claim that the state serves the interests of the upper class rather than equitably serving the interests of all social groups.
Jürgen Habermas believed that the base-superstructure framework, used by many Marxist theorists to describe the relation between the state and the economy, was overly simplistic. He felt that the modern state plays a large role in structuring the economy, by regulating economic activity and being a large-scale economic consumer/producer, and through its redistributive welfare state activities. Because of the way these activities structure the economic framework, Habermas felt that the state cannot be looked at as passively responding to economic class interests.
Michel Foucault believed that modern political theory was too state-centric, saying "Maybe, after all, the state is no more than a composite reality and a mythologized abstraction, whose importance is a lot more limited than many of us think." He thought that political theory was focusing too much on abstract institutions, and not enough on the actual practices of government. In Foucault's opinion, the state had no essence. He believed that instead of trying to understand the activities of governments by analyzing the properties of the state (a reified abstraction), political theorists should be examining changes in the practice of government to understand changes in the nature of the state. Foucault argues that it is technology that has created and made the state so elusive and successful, and that instead of looking at the state as something to be toppled we should look at the state as technological manifestation or system with many heads; Foucault argues instead of something to be overthrown as in the sense of the Marxist and Anarchist understanding of the state. Every single scientific technological advance has come to the service of the state Foucault argues and it is with the emergence of the Mathematical sciences and essentially the formation of Mathematical statistics that one gets an understanding of the complex technology of producing how the modern state was so successfully created. Foucault insists that the Nation state was not a historical accident but a deliberate production in which the modern state had to now manage coincidentally with the emerging practice of the Police (Cameral science) 'allowing' the population to now 'come in' into jus gentium and civitas (Civil society) after deliberately being excluded for several millennia. Democracy wasn't (the newly formed voting franchise) as is always painted by both political revolutionaries and political philosophers as a cry for political freedom or wanting to be accepted by the 'ruling elite', Foucault insists, but was a part of a skilled endeavour of switching over new technology such as; Translatio imperii, Plenitudo potestatis and extra Ecclesiam nulla salus readily available from the past Medieval period, into mass persuasion for the future industrial 'political' population(deception over the population) in which the political population was now asked to insist upon itself “the president must be elected”. Where these political symbol agents, represented by the pope and the president are now democratised. Foucault calls these new forms of technology Biopower and form part of our political inheritance which he calls Biopolitics.
Heavily influenced by Gramsci, Nicos Poulantzas, a Greek neo-Marxist theorist argued that capitalist states do not always act on behalf of the ruling class, and when they do, it is not necessarily the case because state officials consciously strive to do so, but because the 'structural' position of the state is configured in such a way to ensure that the long-term interests of capital are always dominant. Poulantzas' main contribution to the Marxist literature on the state was the concept of 'relative autonomy' of the state. While Poulantzas' work on 'state autonomy' has served to sharpen and specify a great deal of Marxist literature on the state, his own framework came under criticism for its 'structural functionalism'.
State autonomy theorists believe that the state is an entity that is impervious to external social and economic influence, and has interests of its own.
"New institutionalist" writings on the state, such as the works of Theda Skocpol, suggest that state actors are to an important degree autonomous. In other words, state personnel have interests of their own, which they can and do pursue independently of (at times in conflict with) actors in society. Since the state controls the means of coercion, and given the dependence of many groups in civil society on the state for achieving any goals they may espouse, state personnel can to some extent impose their own preferences on civil society.
The rise of the modern day state system was closely related to changes in political thought, especially concerning the changing understanding of legitimate state power and control. Early modern defenders of absolutism (Absolute monarchy), such as Thomas Hobbes and Jean Bodin undermined the doctrine of the divine right of kings by arguing that the power of kings should be justified by reference to the people. Hobbes in particular went further to argue that political power should be justified with reference to the individual(Hobbes wrote in the time of the English Civil war), not just to the people understood collectively. Both Hobbes and Bodin thought they were defending the power of kings, not advocating for democracy, but their arguments about the nature of sovereignty were fiercely resisted by more traditional defenders of the power of kings, such as Sir Robert Filmer in England, who thought that such defenses ultimately opened the way to more democratic claims.
Max Weber identified three main sources of political legitimacy in his works. The first, legitimacy based on traditional grounds is derived from a belief that things should be as they have been in the past, and that those who defend these traditions have a legitimate claim to power. The second, legitimacy based on charismatic leadership, is devotion to a leader or group that is viewed as exceptionally heroic or virtuous. The third is rational-legal authority, whereby legitimacy is derived from the belief that a certain group has been placed in power in a legal manner, and that their actions are justifiable according to a specific code of written laws. Weber believed that the modern state is characterized primarily by appeals to rational-legal authority.
The earliest forms of the state emerged whenever it became possible to centralize power in a durable way. Agriculture and writing are almost everywhere associated with this process: agriculture because it allowed for the emergence of a social class of people who did not have to spend most of their time providing for their own subsistence, and writing (or an equivalent of writing, like Inca quipus) because it made possible the centralization of vital information.
The first known states were created in the Fertile Crescent, India, China, Mesoamerica, the Andes, and others, but it is only in relatively modern times that states have almost completely displaced alternative "stateless" forms of political organization of societies all over the planet. Roving bands of hunter-gatherers and even fairly sizable and complex tribal societies based on herding or agriculture have existed without any full-time specialized state organization, and these "stateless" forms of political organization have in fact prevailed for all of the prehistory and much of the history of the human species and civilization.
Initially states emerged over territories built by conquest in which one culture, one set of ideals and one set of laws have been imposed by force or threat over diverse nations by a civilian and military bureaucracy. Currently, that is not always the case and there are multinational states, federated states and autonomous areas within states.
Since the late 19th century, virtually the entirety of the world's inhabitable land has been parcelled up into areas with more or less definite borders claimed by various states. Earlier, quite large land areas had been either unclaimed or uninhabited, or inhabited by nomadic peoples who were not organised as states. However, even within present-day states there are vast areas of wilderness, like the Amazon rainforest, which are uninhabited or inhabited solely or mostly by indigenous people (and some of them remain uncontacted). Also, there are states which do not hold de facto control over all of their claimed territory or where this control is challenged. Currently the international community comprises around 200 sovereign states, the vast majority of which are represented in the United Nations.
The anthropologist Tim Ingold writes:
It is not enough to observe, in a now rather dated anthropological idiom, that hunter gatherers live in 'stateless societies', as though their social lives were somehow lacking or unfinished, waiting to be completed by the evolutionary development of a state apparatus. Rather, the principal of their socialty, as Pierre Clastres has put it, is fundamentally against the state.
During the Neolithic period, human societies underwent major cultural and economic changes, including the development of agriculture, the formation of sedentary societies and fixed settlements, increasing population densities, and the use of pottery and more complex tools.
Sedentary agriculture led to the development of property rights, domestication of plants and animals, and larger family sizes. It also provided the basis for the centralized state form by producing a large surplus of food, which created a more complex division of labor by enabling people to specialize in tasks other than food production. Early states were characterized by highly stratified societies, with a privileged and wealthy ruling class that was subordinate to a monarch. The ruling classes began to differentiate themselves through forms of architecture and other cultural practices that were different from those of the subordinate laboring classes.
In the past, it was suggested that the centralized state was developed to administer large public works systems (such as irrigation systems) and to regulate complex economies. However, modern archaeological and anthropological evidence does not support this thesis, pointing to the existence of several non-stratified and politically decentralized complex societies.
Mesopotamia is generally considered to be the location of the earliest civilization or complex society, meaning that it contained cities, full-time division of labor, social concentration of wealth into capital, unequal distribution of wealth, ruling classes, community ties based on residency rather than kinship, long distance trade, monumental architecture, standardized forms of art and culture, writing, and mathematics and science. It was the world's first literate civilization, and formed the first sets of written laws.
Although state-forms existed before the rise of the Ancient Greek empire, the Greeks were the first people known to have explicitly formulated a political philosophy of the state, and to have rationally analyzed political institutions. Prior to this, states were described and justified in terms of religious myths.
Several important political innovations of classical antiquity came from the Greek city-states and the Roman Republic. The Greek city-states before the 4th century granted citizenship rights to their free population, and in Athens these rights were combined with a directly democratic form of government that was to have a long afterlife in political thought and history.
During Medieval times in Europe, the state was organized on the principle of feudalism, and the relationship between lord and vassal became central to social organization. Feudalism led to the development of greater social hierarchies.
The formalization of the struggles over taxation between the monarch and other elements of society (especially the nobility and the cities) gave rise to what is now called the Standestaat, or the state of Estates, characterized by parliaments in which key social groups negotiated with the king about legal and economic matters. These estates of the realm sometimes evolved in the direction of fully-fledged parliaments, but sometimes lost out in their struggles with the monarch, leading to greater centralization of lawmaking and military power in his hands. Beginning in the 15th century, this centralizing process gives rise to the absolutist state.
Cultural and national homogenization figured prominently in the rise of the modern state system. Since the absolutist period, states have largely been organized on a national basis. The concept of a national state, however, is not synonymous with nation state. Even in the most ethnically homogeneous societies there is not always a complete correspondence between state and nation, hence the active role often taken by the state to promote nationalism through emphasis on shared symbols and national identity.
Some states are often labeled as weak or failed. In David Samuels's words "...a failed state occurs when sovereignty over claimed territory has collapsed or was never effectively at all". Authors like Samuels and Joel S. Migdal have explored the emergence of weak states, how they are different from Western "strong" states and its consequences to the economic development of developing countries.
Early state formation
To understand the formation of weak states, Samuels compares the formation of European states in the 1600s with the conditions under which more recent states were formed in the twentieth century. In this line of argument, the state allows a population to resolve a collective action problem, in which citizens recognize the authority of the state and this exercise the power of coercion over them. This kind of social organization required a decline in legitimacy of traditional forms of ruling (like religious authorities) and replaced them with an increase in the legitimacy of depersonalized rule; an increase in the central government's sovereignty; and an increase in the organizational complexity of the central government (bureaucracy).
The transition to this modern state was possible in Europe around 1600 thanks to the confluence of factors like the technological developments in warfare, which generated strong incentives to tax and consolidate central structures of governance to respond to external threats. This was complemented by the increasing on the production of food (as a result of productivity improvements), which allowed to sustain a larger population and so increased the complexity and centralization of states. Finally, cultural changes challenged the authority of monarchies and paved the way to the emergence of modern states.
Late state formation
The conditions that enabled the emergence of modern states in Europe were different for other countries that started this process later. As a result, many of these states lack effective capabilities to tax and extract revenue from their citizens, which derives in problems like corruption, tax evasion and low economic growth. Unlike the European case, late state formation occurred in a context of limited international conflict that diminished the incentives to tax and increase military spending. Also, many of these states emerged from colonization in a state of poverty and with institutions designed to extract natural resources, which have made more difficult to form states. European colonization also defined many arbitrary borders that mixed different cultural groups under the same national identities, which has made difficult to build states with legitimacy among all the population, since some states have to compete for it with other forms of political identity.
As a complement of this argument, Migdal gives a historical account on how sudden social changes in the Third World during the Industrial Revolution contributed to the formation of weak states. The expansion of international trade that started around 1850, brought profound changes in Africa, Asia and Latin America that were introduced with the objective of assure the availability of raw materials for the European market. These changes consisted in: i) reforms to landownership laws with the objective of integrate more lands to the international economy, ii) increase in the taxation of peasants and little landowners, as well as collecting of these taxes in cash instead of in kind as was usual up to that moment and iii) the introduction of new and less costly modes of transportation, mainly railroads. As a result, the traditional forms of social control became obsolete, deteriorating the existing institutions and opening the way to the creation of new ones, that not necessarily lead these countries to build strong states. This fragmentation of the social order induced a political logic in which these states were captured to some extent by "strongmen", who were capable to take advantage of the above-mentioned changes and that challenge the sovereignty of the state. As a result, these decentralization of social control impedes to consolidate strong states.
It has been thought necessary to quote the Lytton Report at such length since it is probably the fullest and most exhaustive description of an allegedly independent, by 'actually' dependent, i.e. Puppet State
3 (also State) a an organized political community under one government; a commonwealth; a nation. b such a community forming part of a federal republic, esp the United States of America
The idea of Jerusalem as a temple state is an analogy to the temple states of Asia Minor and the Seleucid Empire, but it is an inappropriate analogy. [...] Rostovtzeff referred to Judea as a sort of temple state, notwithstanding his own definition that stipulates ownership of territory and state organization. [...] Hengel also claims that Judea was a temple state, ignoring his own evidence that the Ptolemies hardly would have tolerated such a situation.
The first beast comes up from the sea...It is given 'all authority and power over every tribe, every people, every tongue, and every nation' (13:7). All who dwell on earth worship it. Political power could hardly, I think, be more expressly described, for it is this power which has authority, which controls military force, and which compels adoration (i.e., absolute obedience).
Quotations related to State at WikiquoteBureaucracy
Bureaucracy () refers to both a body of non-elective government officials and an administrative policy-making group. Historically, a bureaucracy was a government administration managed by departments staffed with non-elected officials. Today, bureaucracy is the administrative system governing any large institution, whether publicly owned or privately owned. The public administration in many countries is an example of a bureaucracy, but so is the centralized hierarchical structure of a business firm.
Various commentators have noted the necessity of bureaucracies in modern society. The German sociologist Max Weber argued that bureaucracy constitutes the most efficient and rational way in which human activity can be organized and that systematic processes and organized hierarchies are necessary to maintain order, maximize efficiency, and eliminate favoritism. On the other hand, Weber also saw unfettered bureaucracy as a threat to individual freedom, with the potential of trapping individuals in an impersonal "iron cage" of rule-based, rational control.Carol Breckenridge
Carol A. Breckenridge (1942–2009) was an American anthropologist and Associate Professor of History at the New School for Social Research, author of many books and articles on colonialism and the political economy of ritual; state, polity, and religion in South India; society and aesthetics in India since 1850; culture theory; and cosmopolitan cultural forms. In 1988 Breckenridge and fellow founding editor Arjun Appadurai started Public Culture, a field-defining academic journal in the areas of globalization and transnational cultural studies.
Breckenridge received her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1976 and formerly taught in the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago. She died of cancer on October 4, 2009. She is survived by her husband, anthropologist Arjun Appadurai, and their son Alok.Classical Hindu law in practice
Classical Hindu law in practice originates from community, not a state polity. In this way, particular groups of society began to gain influence in the creation and administration of law. Primary corporate groups, Kingships, and Brahmins were the factions, which conveyed Hindu jurisprudence in practice. Corporate groups were responsible for legislating law through the conception of social norms; kingships were responsible for the administration of punishment and the worldly Hindu system; and Brahmins were responsible for ritual, penance, and the maintenance of a spiritual Hindu system.Copper Age state societies
The Chalcolithic or Copper Age is the transitional period between the Neolithic and the Bronze Age.
It is taken to begin around the mid-5th millennium BC, and ends with the beginning of the Bronze Age proper, in the late 4th to 3rd millennium BC, depending on the region.
The Chalcolithic is part of prehistory, but based on archaeological evidence, the emergence of the first state societies can be inferred, notably in the Fertile Crescent (Sumer, predynastic Egypt, Protominoan Crete), with late Neolithic societies of comparable complexity emerging in the Indus Valley (Mehrgarh) and in China.
The development of states—large-scale, populous, politically centralized, and socially stratified polities/societies governed by powerful rulers—marks one of the major milestones in the evolution of human societies. Archaeologists often distinguish between primary (or pristine) states and secondary states. Primary states evolved independently through largely internal developmental processes rather than through the influence of any other pre-existing state.
The earliest known primary states appeared in Mesopotamia c. 3700 BC, in Egypt c. 3300 BC,
in the Indus Valley c. 3300 BC,
and in China c. 1600 BC.Government
A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, often a state.In the case of its broad associative definition, government normally consists of legislature, executive, and judiciary. Government is a means by which organizational policies are enforced, as well as a mechanism for determining policy. Each government has a kind of constitution, a statement of its governing principles and philosophy. Typically the philosophy chosen is some balance between the principle of individual freedom and the idea of absolute state authority (tyranny).
While all types of organizations have governance, the word government is often used more specifically to refer to the approximately 200 independent national governments on Earth, as well as subsidiary organizations.Historically prevalent forms of government include monarchy, aristocracy, timocracy, oligarchy, democracy, theocracy and tyranny. The main aspect of any philosophy of government is how political power is obtained, with the two main forms being electoral contest and hereditary succession.Index of sociology articles
This is an index of sociology articles. For a shorter list, see List of basic sociology topics.Jurisdiction (area)
For an article concerning the powers of courts and public authority, see jurisdiction.A jurisdiction is an area with a set of laws under the control of a system of courts or government entity which are different from neighbouring areas.Each state in a federation such as Australia, Germany and the United States forms a separate jurisdiction. However, sometimes certain laws in a federal state are uniform across the constituent states and enforced by a set of federal courts; with a result that the federal state forms a single jurisdiction for that purpose.
It is also possible for a jurisdiction to prosecute for crimes committed somewhere outside its jurisdiction, once the perpetrator returns. In some cases, a citizen of another jurisdiction outside its own can be extradited to a jurisdiction where the crime is illegal, even if it was not committed in that jurisdiction.Unitary states are usually single jurisdictions, but the United Kingdom is a notable exception; it has three separate jurisdictions due to its three separate legal systems. China also has separate jurisdictions of Hong Kong and Macao.List of current constituent African monarchs
This is a list of reigning constituent monarchs, including traditional rulers and governing constitutional monarchs. Each monarch listed below reigns over a legally recognised dominion, but in most cases possess little or no sovereign governing power. Their titles, however, are recognised by the state. Entries are listed beside their respective dominions, and are grouped by country.List of current constituent Asian monarchs
This is a list of reigning constituent monarchs, including traditional rulers and governing constitutional monarchs. Each monarch listed below reigns over a legally recognised dominion, but in most cases possess little or no sovereign governing power. Their titles, however, are recognised by the state. Entries are listed beside their respective dominions, and are grouped by country.List of current constituent monarchs
This is a list of currently reigning constituent monarchs, including traditional rulers and governing constitutional monarchs. Each monarch listed below reigns over a legally recognised dominion, but in most cases possess little or no sovereign governing power. Their titles, however, are recognised by the state. Entries are listed beside their respective dominions, and are grouped by country.Nation
A nation is a stable community of people, formed on the basis of a common language, territory, history, 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....
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.Outline of public affairs
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to public affairs:
Public affairs – catch-all term that includes public policy as well as public administration, both of which are closely related to and draw upon the fields of political science and economics.Riyasat Mae Riyasat
Riyasat Mae Riyasat (Urdu: ریاست میں ریاست) is a Pakistani Telefilm aired on 14 August 2016 (Independence Day of Pakistan) directed by Asad Malik and written by Dr. Mashood Qadri. The melodrama, Riyasat Mae Riyasat, is an eye opener about the fragile legal and judicious system which has turned a blind eye on the deteriorating situation of the prisons: "Justice delayed is Justice Denied". The political facts of Pakistan have been brought onto the screen to open up minds against bigotries in all forms. The film shows that there is a cold war between the state, polity and the commoners. The city is being run by the local gang mafias and the police state is helpless. Thus, as per the title, there is a state within a state.
Release Network: TV One Global
Released Date: August 14TH, 2016Social Science History Association
The Social Science History Association, formed in 1976, brings together scholars from numerous disciplines interested in social history.
Statement of Purpose: To bring together members of various disciplines (including economics, sociology, demography, anthropology, and history) who work with historical materials.Social Science History is a quarterly, peer-reviewed academic journal. It is the official journal of the Social Science History Association. Its articles bring an analytic, theoretical, and often quantitative approach to historical evidence. The journal's founders intended to "improve the quality of historical explanation" with "theories and methods from the social science disciplines" and to make generalizations across historical cases. The first issue came out in the fall of 1976. The journal's articles that are most-accessed and cited through JSTOR are about social and political movements and associated narratives.The "Social Science History Association" was formed in 1976 as an interdisciplinary group with a journal Social Science History and an annual convention. The goal was to incorporate in historical studies perspectives from all the social sciences, especially political science, sociology and economics. The pioneers shared a commitment to quantification. However, by the 1980s the first blush of quantification had worn off, as critics complained that quantification undervalued the role of contingency, and warned against a naive positivism. Meanwhile quantification became well-established inside economics, in the field of cliometrics, as well as in political science. In history, quantification remained central to demographic studies, but slipped behind in political and social history.Statecraft
Statecraft may refer to:
Statecraft: Strategies for a Changing World, a 2003 book by Margaret Thatcher
Statecraft (game), a card game
The politics of a state (polity)
The use of power in international relations
The Statecraft (political science) approach to political science and public administrationTemporal power
Temporal power is a term of art in medieval and early modern political philosophy to refer to worldly power, as contrasted with spiritual power.
The temporal power (simply), the state (polity) or secular authority, in contrast to the Church or spiritual authority
Temporal power (Papal), the worldly power exercised by the Roman PontiffU.S. state
In the United States, a state is a constituent political entity, of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a political union, each state holds governmental jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory and shares its sovereignty with the federal government. Due to this shared sovereignty, Americans are citizens both of the federal republic and of the state in which they reside. State citizenship and residency are flexible, and no government approval is required to move between states, except for persons restricted by certain types of court orders (e.g., paroled convicts and children of divorced spouses who are sharing custody). Four states (Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia) use the term commonwealth rather than state in their full official names.
States are divided into counties or county-equivalents, which may be assigned some local governmental authority but are not sovereign. County or county-equivalent structure varies widely by state, and states may also create other local governments. State governments are allocated power by the people (of each respective state) through their individual constitutions. All are grounded in republican principles, and each provides for a government, consisting of three branches, each with separate and independent powers: executive, legislative, and judicial.States possess a number of powers and rights under the United States Constitution. States and their residents are represented in the United States Congress, a bicameral legislature consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. Each state is also entitled to select a number of electors (equal to the total number of representatives and senators from that state) to vote in the Electoral College, the body that directly elects the President of the United States. Additionally, each state has the opportunity to ratify constitutional amendments, and, with the consent of Congress, two or more states may enter into interstate compacts with one another.
Historically, the tasks of local law enforcement, public education, public health, regulating intrastate commerce, and local transportation and infrastructure have generally been considered primarily state responsibilities, although all of these now have significant federal funding and regulation as well. Over time, the Constitution has been amended, and the interpretation and application of its provisions have changed. The general tendency has been toward centralization and incorporation, with the federal government playing a much larger role than it once did. There is a continuing debate over states' rights, which concerns the extent and nature of the states' powers and sovereignty in relation to the federal government and the rights of individuals.
The Constitution grants to Congress the authority to admit new states into the Union. Since the establishment of the United States in 1776, the number of states has expanded from the original 13 to 50. Alaska and Hawaii are the most recent states admitted, both in 1959. The Constitution is silent on the question of whether states have the power to secede (withdraw) from the Union. Shortly after the Civil War, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Texas v. White, held that a state cannot unilaterally do so.Unit of analysis
The unit of analysis is the entity that frames what is being analyzed in a study, or is the entity being studied as a whole, within which most factors of causality and change exist. The unit of analysis should not be confused with the unit of observation. The unit of observation is a subset of the unit of analysis. In social science research, the most commonly referenced unit of analysis, considered to be a society is the state (polity) (i.e. country). Common units of observation include groups, organizations, and institutions. The unit of observation is the unit described by one's data (neighborhoods using the U.S. Census, individuals using surveys, etc.). For example, a study may treat groups as a unit of observation with a country as the unit of analysis, drawing conclusions on group characteristics from data collected at the national level.
Dependency Theory and world-systems analysis challenged the treatment of countries as societies or units of analysis and the assumption that each country develops separately through stages from agrarian to industrial, from authoritarian to democratic, from backwards to advanced, by raising historical evidence. The development of an uneven division of labor (world-economy) shows factors of causality that account for changes within countries indicating that countries are part of a larger society or historical social system with systemic patterns that account for global inequality.
The literature of international relations provides a good example of units of analysis system.
Types of state