Nation-State and Collective Identity for Its Citizens in the Latter Part of the Twentieth Century

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Wesleyan University
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The failure of some nation-states around the world to clearly define the collective identity for its citizens in the latter part of the twentieth century in something that has resulted in intensified discussion globally. Some nations failed to realize the rights of their citizens, and it continued to cause some international political instability (Porter 2003). Primarily, the recognition of such promotion and protection of the national minority rights was necessary for reducing and avoiding the continued pervasive humanitarian and security crises (Kennedy 2010). In doing so, it identified the territorial integrity for the nation-state and the desire the collective identity of the citizens. There are several ways in which the nation-state lost some of its ability to define the collective identity of its citizens.

Firstly, the nation-state failed to realize the national minority rights. Primarily, the realization of national minority rights had not taken place in larger parts of Europe, America, and Asia. The minority groups were not well recognized, and they were not accorded the same rights as their counterparts (Mann 1997). Primarily, ethnocultural diversity has been with the people for a long time, and history shows that the divisions created by it have initiated violent and discrimination around the world. Moreover, the realization of the minority rights is crucial to enable peaceful cohesion with such diverse cultures and alleviate the vulnerability of the minority cultures in the society (Paasi 2009). Therefore the recognition of the minority benefited both the majority and minority.

Secondly, the nation-states failed in globalization. They neglected to identify that the global change was paramount for the interest of the nation and community involved. Moreover, during the twentieth-century globalization was taking place at a faster and rapid rate even those who tried to keep track of it were unable to do so. Primarily, as a result, globalization in inequitable and descriptive in its effects to the nation (Herzfeld 2014). Another important aspect that the nation-state lost some of its ability to define the collective identity of its citizens was territorial integrity. The territory is a fundamental aspect and tenet of sovereign and statehood (Connell 2014). During the twentieth century, the nation-state commitment to the international treaties and documents that protected the territorial integrity was questionable.

The political and cultural power declined in the twentieth century because of several factors the World Wars. The World Wars made European nations crumble to the ground by losing their cultural and political identity (Tarrow 2011). At the same time, millions of people became homeless and hungry. Secondly, the failure of communism. The failure of international communism and the Soviet regime indicated the total failure of the communist ideology. Additionally, the rise of nationalism was the primary factor that resulted in the political and cultural power in the twentieth century (Castells 2011). Similarly, the ethos of democracy. The significant shift in the western democracy from aristocracy to democracy meant the people governed themselves.

Nationalism and democracy are some of the patterns that have emerged from the twentieth century (Pinder 2013). The nationalist exhibited a lot of pride in the tradition and history of the nations. Nationalism has made some of the countrys powerful such as the United States where everything is done for the benefit of the country (Mayhew 2014). Similarly, democracy is another integral part of the pattern that emerged making sure that the voice of the people was considered and represented at the top level.



Castells, M. (2011). The power of identity: The information age: Economy, society, and culture (Vol. 2). John Wiley & Sons.

Connell, R. W. (2014). Gender and power: Society, the person and sexual politics. John Wiley & Sons.

Herzfeld, M. (2014). Cultural intimacy: Social poetics in the nation-state. Routledge.

Kennedy, P. (2010). The rise and fall of the great powers. Vintage.

Mann, M. (1997). Has globalization ended the rise and rise of the nation-state?. Review of international political economy, 4(3), 472-496.

Mayhew, D. R. (2014). Placing parties in American politics: organization, electoral settings, and government activity in the twentieth century. Princeton University Press.

Paasi, A. (2009). The resurgence of the regionand regional identity: Theoretical perspectives and empirical observations on regional dynamics in Europe. Review of international studies, 35(S1), 121-146.

Pinder, D. (2013). Visions of the city: utopianism, power and politics in twentieth century urbanism. Routledge.

Porter, K. (2003). The Realisation of National Minority Rights. Macquarie LJ, 3, 51.

Tarrow, S. G. (2011). Power in movement: Social movements and contentious politics. Cambridge University Press.

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