Theoretical Framework. The Nation. The Concept Of The Nation

1084 WordsMar 26, 20175 Pages
Theoretical Framework The Nation The concept of the nation has proved to be quite tricky to precisely define. Definitions of the nation often suggest the a nation is a group of people to whom common characteristics have been attributed. Common Language, ethnicity, history and/or religion our amongst the features commonly attributed to nations. Kymlicka for example suggests that “ 'nation ' means a historical community, more or less institutionally complete, occupying a given territory or homeland, sharing a distinct language and culture (p. 11)” Others such as Bauer have chosen to focus more upon the commonality of national character noting that the people of the nation are “united by a common fate … [which] is primarily a common history;…show more content…
Nations are also seen as limited, in that they are bounded. Nations can not usefully included all peoples of the world, nor do nations imagine themselves as doing so. The boundaries of the nation are finite with other similarly bounded nations seen as existing beyond the boundaries of each nation. Sovereignty is also presented as requirement for the nation. The nation must imagine itself as sovereign in order to exist. Nations do not need to actually be able to express sovereignty, but rather "nations dream of being free”. Finally, the nation is a community in that “regardless of the actual inequality and exploitation that may prevail in each, the nation is always conceived as a deep, horizontal comradeship”. A member of the nation is presented as having a meaningful connection to their fellow members, even when this connection might not exist in any practical form. Anderson’s definition of a nation, while generally very useful, is somewhat problematic when looking at the nations of this paper. Anderson suggests that it is not possible for all members of a nation to interact with or even know of each other. This impossibility of non-imagined bonds creates the need for the nation to develop to establish a shared affinity. Without the nation, the peoples of the nation should otherwise not generally be able to hold “image of their communion” with their fellow members. When looking at a nation such as Niue with a population around two thousand, the
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