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By Daniel Chernilo

A Social thought of the geographical region: the political sorts of modernity past methodological nationalism, construes a singular and unique social thought of the countryside. It rejects nationalistic methods of pondering that take the countryside with no 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 old improvement and up to date worldwide demanding situations through an research of the writings of key social theorists. This reconstruction of the historical past of the geographical region 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 part, it introduces social theory’s key perspectives concerning the geographical region, its earlier, current and destiny. In so doing this booklet rejects methodological nationalism, the declare that the geographical region is the mandatory illustration of the fashionable society, since it misrepresents the nation-state’s personal tricky trajectory in modernity. And methodological nationalism is usually rejected since it is not able to catch the richness of social theory’s highbrow canon. as an alternative, through a robust belief of society and a subtler concept of the geographical region, A Social thought of the Nation-State attempts to account for the ‘opacity of the countryside in modernity’.

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

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Instead of trying to gain reflexivity and complexity in the analysis by distinguishing modes or versions of social theory’s methodological nationalism – and thus saving what can be saved and disregarding what cannot be – Beck throws everything into an undifferentiated whole: social theory’s worthless methodological nationalism versus brand-new-world-risk-society methodological cosmopolitanism. This line of reasoning underwrites the whole debate on methodological nationalism in Beck’s work. Indeed, there have also been instances in which not only the nation-state but imperialism – for the period of classical social theory (Connell 1997) – totalitarianism – for the period of modernist social theory (Bauman 1991) – and globalisation or cosmopolitanism – for current social theory (Albrow 1996, and Beck himself) – have all been taken as the representation of modernity’s true project.

To be legitimate, nationalism should strive, internally, for freeing the people from tyranny and class exploitation and, externally, for making itself ready to fight for the global revolution. The question of national viability is Benner’s third criterion but her notion of viability is based more on the conditions of political struggle than on any given factor: ‘ “viability” was not simply an attribute of immutable national characteristics. It was, more importantly, a matter of commitment to a countervailing network of international power [ .

Being modelled on Kant, then, my argument is to acknowledge the fact that social theory’s understanding of the rise and main features of modernity takes society as its own regulative ideal. Social theory finds justification for its universalistic knowledge claim because it is inextricably connected with the problem of trying to set a framework to understand modern social life in general. 13 Following this line of reasoning, then, by claiming that society can only be defined with reference to the nation-state, methodological nationalism has fallen into the trap of using the notion of society constitutively – to define what society actually is – rather than regulatively – the use of society to explicate the conditions of possibility of the knowledge of modern social relations.

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