A social theory of the nation-state : the political forms of by Daniel Chernilo

By Daniel Chernilo

A Social concept of the geographical region: the political kinds of modernity past methodological nationalism, construes a singular and unique social concept of the countryside. It rejects nationalistic methods of pondering that take the countryside without any consideration up to globalist orthodoxy that speaks of its present and definitive decline.

Its major objective is consequently to supply a renovated account of the nation-state’s historic improvement and up to date international demanding situations through an research of the writings of key social theorists. This reconstruction of the historical past of the countryside into 3 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 one section, it introduces social theory’s key perspectives concerning the geographical region, its prior, current and destiny. In so doing this ebook rejects methodological nationalism, the declare that the countryside is the required illustration of the fashionable society, since it misrepresents the nation-state’s personal difficult trajectory in modernity. And methodological nationalism can be rejected since it is not able to catch the richness of social theory’s highbrow canon. as an alternative, through a robust perception of society and a subtler inspiration of the geographical region, A Social concept of the Nation-State attempts to account for the ‘opacity of the countryside in modernity’.

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Additional resources for A social theory of the nation-state : the political forms of modernity beyond methodological nationalism

Example text

Beck’s solutions to the problems raised by methodological nationalism did not deliver the answers we require. We are in need of a stronger antidote against any form of methodological nationalism and this, I believe, can be best provided if we go back and try to recuperate social theory’s claim to universalism. Conclusion Methodological nationalism needs to be rejected and transcended; such an aim is no doubt the purpose of all of us who contribute to this debate. The equation between the nation-state and society not only distorts social theory’s legacy but also prevents us from capturing the opacity of the nation-state in modernity.

Social theory cannot give up either dimension without betraying itself: there is a normative aspect of social life that stubbornly refuses to go away. The universalistic knowledge claim to which social theory is committed – ontologically sound, theoretically informed, historically relevant, methodologically consistent and normatively conscious – benefits from an abstract understanding of society as a regulative ideal. The reconstruction of the canon of social theory in which I am interested here requires a strong conception of society that is able to help us control the definition of our key themes, concepts, procedures and presuppositions.

In Kant’s terms, if in the theoretical realm of Pure Reason regulative ideals prove to be non-instantiable, in the normative realm of Practical Reason they are unrealisable. Regulative ideals are relevant because they have a role in setting both conceptual and normative standards to orient our social practices. They fulfil the function of allowing us to recognise the limitations of any contemplation of the world by always integrating these normative standpoints back into our empirical descriptions.

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