A nation-state is also known as a country. It is crucial to note that that the term state, nation, and country are used interchangeably but technically have different meaning. A nation is used to refer to a group of people of a given ethnicity despite not owning a country. This means that a nation referred to a given cultural identity of a group of people (Hansen, 2012, p.25). A state can be classified as a form of political authority that is part of a country and constitutes a given political authority. Thus, the term nation-state is functional because it gives people a sense of nationalism. All nation-states around the globe share certain characteristics such as: an organized and centralized government, sovereign, has its marked territory, and a population that is exists so that the government can rule them. Sovereignty is an important factor in any nation because it ensures that a country is independent from the influence of another country. Given that some nation exhibit power through their military or economy, the idea of self-rule hinders them from colonizing other nation. However, it is crucial to note that global sovereignty has been achieved by most nations in the late 20th century (Hansen, 2012, p.32). For example, the US was colonized by the Great Britain till the American Revolution where they claimed their independence. Thus, a country’s sovereignty is crucial because nation-states can rule themselves and implement laws that benefit the greater population.
A nation can be considered not a sovereign state in that a nation can have their own self-government but the people are still dependent of the nation-state (Hansen, 2012, p.47). It is crucial to note that a nation cannot be sovereign state because it lacks territorial borders. This is evident in Middle East where a nation known as Kurdistan are not recognized by other nation states such as Turkey and Syria. Thus, territorial boundaries also contribute to the sovereignty of a given nation-state (Hansen, 2012, p.73). On the other hand, there are sovereign states that are not considered as nations. For example, Switzerland is not considered a nation because the Swiss people four different languages and different cultural identities. This illustrates that Switzerland as a country is considered a sovereign state but at the same time it is not considered as a nation. On the other hand, a nation-state is country with defined territorial borders and the majority of the population shares the same ethnicity. For example, Japan is a nation-state because despite the fact that it has a small percentage of indigenous cultures such as the Ainu people. It is crucial to note that despite an ethnic difference between ethnicities, the all share some certain cultural aspects.
The US is an example of modern day nation-state because the country exhibits the characteristics of a nation-state. For example, the US is sovereign and the government is organized into the legislative, executive, and judiciary. These three branches ensure that law and order is apprehended and followed by the greater American population (Hansen, 2012, p.90). The US has a constitution that marks it territories, demonstrates an act of sovereignty and shows a common culture. The constitution is an important document that gives people rights and freedoms. Through this freedom, the US is a democratic independent nation in that the constitution gives the federal government to partake an attack in case the country’s independence id endangered or jeopardized. Thus, the constitution reinforces a fixed territory (Hansen, 2012, p.92). The constitution also fosters a common culture form the Americans because it has the rule of law that applies to everyone in the country. This means that the constitution does not undermine one because of gender, class, or race. Thus, the constitution fosters a common culture for all the Americans in that the US is a nation-state that is inhabited by mostly immigrants.
The US has used foreign policy to promote democracy and defend human rights around the globe. For example, the US has given humanitarian aid to the people in Philippine who had been hit by the typhoon that ravaged the country. Most people lost their lives during this catastrophe and many properties were damaged in the process. Given that the country had been hit by one of the worst typhoon in the human history, forms of communications were interrupted and people did not have food or shelter. Thus, the US offered humanitarian aid by giving out food and medicine to the affected people. This form of moral support by the US has saved numbers of lives. The powerful typhoon devastated the people. Thus, the US gave the country support both financially and by giving people basic needs. US has also participated in peace talks in the Middle East where nations such as Syria are in a civil war and also in conflict with Israel. Thus, the US has prompted peace talks as a peaceful way to negotiate among nation-states and leaders of the people. Innocent lives have been lost in the Syrian conflict where there is collateral damage. Women and children are killed by the army despite not participating in the warfare. It is also crucial to note that warfare disrupts peace, socio-economic and political stability that raises tension in the nation. Thus peace should be achieved as a way of resolving conflict. Israel is known to be a US ally and has been antagonistic with Syria for a number of years. Given that Israel has stirred conflict and havoc in Syria because they have bombing the country, the US should intervene in this conflict by initiating Israel to back down from attacking Syria. The US president, Barack Obama, has had talks with Assad as a way of restoring peace in the country. This shows that the US is participating in the peace talks that aim at diminishing conflict in Syria.
The European Union is a form of transnational entity because it acts as a representative for most nations across Europe and sets policies for these nation-states (Herrmann, 2004, p.113). It is important to note that EU was prompted by the foundation of the European Coal and Steel Community in 1952. A union between six nation-states was formed so that the Western Union would unite. The 1950s also marked as the cold war era. Thus, the European Coal and Steel Community was used to unify given states in Europe. These six countries include: Belgium, Netherlands, West Germany, Italy, France, and Luxembourg (Herrmann, 2004, 114). These countries signed to Treaty of Rome in 1957 as a way of forming an alliance. The European Coal and Steel Community was formed under super nationalism that meant these nations had to follow a given law. This means that the law was not directed to one country, but all of those that signed the treaty. This treaty prompted other organizations such European Economic Community (EEC) and European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC) (Herrmann, 2004, p.117). Given that these organizations focused on improving the general economy of the nation-states, it formed alliances where the countries could share ideas and also form trading partners for natural products such as energy. These form of interests made more countries join different unions that were formed and treaties had to be signed to show allegiance. In 1992, a treaty known as Maastricht was signed to give birth to the European Union. Currently, the EU has about 27 signed member states. EU’s fundamental growth is to provide socio-political and economic stability across Europe. The EU has established some institutions that govern the EU nation-states such as: European Central Bank, European Court of Justice, and European parliament.
The treaty of European Union formalizes the European central bank that is responsible of the monetary policies for nation-states that have signed this treaty (Herrmann, 2004, p.123). The European Central Bank has a fundamental responsibility for ensuring that the Euro maintains its value and that it can curb any form of inflation that may jeopardize the economic stability of the nation-states. This means that the European Central Bank gives nation-states confidence in the euro because the bank can control the level of money supply to be consistent in the economy. Thus, the European Central Bank ensures price stability by closely watching the money supply in the economy (Herrmann, 2004, p.124).
The European court of justice is the highest court of law in the EU. European court of justice ensures that all the nation-states that are members of EU follow the law. It is crucial to note that the European court of justice has judges form each member state as a way of creating anarchy among nation-states in that all countries are represented. The individual courts in different nations refer to the ECJ for advice (Herrmann, 2004, p.125). It is important to note that nation-states have to sign and ratify a given treaty in order to pledge their alliance to this institution. The treaty gives the ECJ the right to exercise their law in all signed nation-states.
The European parliament has one of the most influential legislatures in the globe. The European parliament has a total of 766 members that represent different parties among the nation-states in the EU (Herrmann, 2004, p.116). This parliament is a powerful institution because it makes laws that populations in different nation-states in the EU have to follow and abide by. The parliament can also draft treaties that can affect all the signatories of the EU. Thus, the members of parliaments draft various bills that have to be voted for or against in order to determine whether the parliament should make the bill a law.
Given that the EU is a transnational entity, it has foreign policy objectives because most signatories can be considered developed nations (Herrmann, 2004, p.131). The EU uses its diplomacy in the international arena such as the United Nations that aim at bringing global peace. The EU has also participated in resolving conflicts in a given nation. The EU can deploy their army or enforce trade embargoes that undermine the economic well-being of a given state. Thus, the EU may employ certain embargoes that may harm a given nation, which makes the nation-state to concede their warfare instead of running the socio-economy. The EU supports certain nation-states in Africa and Asia through food aid. In addition EU finds trade partners between different nation-states to facilitate their economic growth. This means that the EU may provide financial support by giving aid to other nation-states or finding trade partners that will benefit both nations in terms of developing strong international ties. The EU contributes to global peace keeping, security, humanitarian aid such as food aid, and offer grants and loans to developing nations.
The Syrian civil war has been ongoing for a number of years and there are high instances of collateral damage done in the nation-state. Given that Syrian government responded to protestation by violence, there is lack on peace in the country. The US has funneled millions of dollar funds to Syria through the United Nations and other non-governmental organization working in the area. This means that the US is proving humanitarian aid to Syria to help the refugees who have been affected by the warfare and the children whose education was interrupted by the war. In addition, the current US president is initiating peace talks with the Arab league to make an incentive for Syrian government to back down from using acts of violence to its own people. The US has asserted that the Syrian president should step down so that people can elect the leaders that match their wants and perspectives. It is crucial to note that Syrian war was promulgated by the Arab spring where people protested the government. This protestation escalated to a warfare that has affected the society. The US also initiates a form of diplomacy to Syria by initiating peaceful talks so that conflict can be resolved in the end.
Hansen, R., & Koehler, J. (2012). Migration, Nation States, and International Cooperation. Hoboken: Taylor & Francis.
Herrmann, R. K., Kappen, T., & Brewer, M. B. (2004). Transnational identities: becoming European in the EU. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.