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State, Welfare & Society Lecture 2: The Modern State and State-Society Relations Prof. Majid Yar.

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Presentation on theme: "State, Welfare & Society Lecture 2: The Modern State and State-Society Relations Prof. Majid Yar."— Presentation transcript:

1 State, Welfare & Society Lecture 2: The Modern State and State-Society Relations Prof. Majid Yar

2 Emergence of the Modern State Last lecture – development of different forms of collective organisation in societies – family, clan, tribe, city states, empires and feudalism Modern nation state – emerged between 13 th and 16 th centuries in Europe. Now dominant form of political organisation Long-term – in many cases not completed until 19 th C Treaty of Westphalia (1648) – followed 400 years of political and religious wars Recognised fixed national boundaries and sovereignty of state within its national territory

3 Principles of the Modern Nation State (1) Combines 2 fundamental dimensions. Firstly: Idea/ideal of ‘the nation’ as people & territory united by shared language, customs, religion and a ‘way of life’ Artificial creations – suppressing differences and creating traditions as basis common identity

4 Principles of the Modern Nation State (2) Secondly: Development of formal & centralised apparatus of governance and control over the territory Different from feudalism, in which power was decentralised and privatised Power in modern NS was centralised and public In short, we see: the appearance of political units persisting in time and fixed in space, the development of permanent, impersonal institutions, agreement on the need for an authority which can give final judgments, and acceptance of the idea that this authority should receive the basic loyalty of its subjects. (Strayer, On the medieval origins of the modern state – 1970, p.10)

5 Explanations for the Emergence of the Modern State (1) Moving from ‘what’ and ‘when’ to ‘why’ and ‘how’- what caused this new form to emerge when it did? Political sociologists and historians – many accounts Gianfranco Poggi – three main types of explanation – managerial, military and economic

6 1. The Managerial Explanation Professional administration and capacity to govern ever larger territories. More effective ways of: –Collecting, distributing and using resources (e.g. via taxation) –Of providing services to local communities (e.g. policing and judicial services) Role of literacy and print culture in enabling communication, coordination, standardisation and record keeping

7 2. The Military Explanation Demands of warfare as driver for development of state apparatus Equipping for war requires control and organisation of populations, resources, production and technology Coordinated management of wide range of social activities Expensive – efficient collection of wealth via taxation War and public health/welfare programmes – example of Britain and the Second Boer War (1899-1902)

8 3. The Economic Explanation Economic change as driver of new state form and end of feudal order Industrialisation – changed forms of production: –Movement from country to city –Wage labour freed workers from vassalage Breakdown of relations of authority and obedience New powerful social class – bourgeois capitalists Challenge to power of aristocratic control of state Demands of new economy – centralised control

9 From Subjects to Citizens: The Social Contract Declining monarchical and aristocratic power – news ways of thinking about relation between state and society, political authority and individuals Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679), John Locke (1632-1704) – divine right of kings unreasonable Political order needs support and agreement of ruled Contract or exchange – state protects person and property, people recognise state’s authority and obey its rules Beginnings of state welfare provision – state has responsibility for basic well-being and safety of its citizens

10 Visions of State Responsibility (1) Classical liberalism and the minimal state: –Individual liberty as greatest political good – maximising freedom to make choices and direct own life –Ownership and disposal of property is ‘natural right’ – what people do with their resources is up to them –State should be minimal – ‘interfere’ as little as possible. Limited to safeguarding individuals’ freedoms and security of person and property –Individual responsibility for own welfare – especially as state provision requires expropriation of resources from people via taxation

11 Two Concepts of Liberty Isaiah Berlin, Two Concepts of Liberty (1958) –Negative liberty: freedom = freedom from interference and coercion. Liberty is right to be left alone to do as one wishes. Corresponds to classical liberal position –Positive Liberty: liberty needs to be enabled. Can only exercise meaningful choices if has resources to do so. Emphasis freeing people from disease, ignorance and want, which prevent people from realising their potential – incorporated in social liberal vision of state

12 Visions of State Responsibility (1) Social liberalism: –Individual well-being requires more than non-interference –Preconditions for self-realisation – health, education, basic material needs (food, shelter, clothing etc) –State has responsibility for ensuring that these needs are met for all citizens, when they are unable to provide for themselves –Drive toward a welfare state – providing for these needs on behalf of society for society

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