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The construction of the modern State

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Ancient and modern states.
    1. A general definition of the State.
    2. A definition of the ancient state.
    3. A definition of the modern state.
    4. Two tradtional models of thinking in state theories.
  3. Theories about state formation through the prism of the war.
    1. State formation studied through the prism of the war.
    2. Tilly's aim: Show how coercion and capital can be connected thanks to the war.
    3. Anthony Giddens.
  4. Conclusion.
  5. Bibliography.

'Man is by nature a political animal', arguing on that Aristolte induced the existence of political communities. Men lived in communities for decades. However, man's living condition has changed with the passage of time. One landmark change was in his environment. Each evolution was a step towards the achievement of our political structure: the modern state. Historical sociology is the necessary tool to study these changes. This discipline was born in the 1970s thanks to the convergence of history and sociology and tries to think social reality. History and sociology are two sides of the same social reality so 'historical sociology is the study of the past to find out how societies work and change'.The historical sociology was developed in two disciplines: first in sociology and then in political science. In the 1970s the behaviorist wave brought about a scientific methodology. According to this approach, the principal mistake of many disciplines is to study one part of a subject. It means to concentrate on one thing. Behaviorism puts emphasize on the whole and the whole becomes more important that the sum of its parts.

[...] A Modern state is connected to the society thanks to administrative links and a strong infrastructural power while the Ancient State was not able to project economic, political and ideological power because of a low level of infrastuctural power and a weak administration. With regard to economy, Ancient states had just an administrative role, they were involved in the exploitation of economic activity and resources but they were not unde inrtake to ecnomic development. Modern Stae do care about economic development and try to have an economic strategy to have competitive firmes. [...]


[...] Secondly, the structure of our modern state is obviously not the last one. Even if Max Weber claimed that the legal rational domination was the highest degree of efficiency states can catch up, many theories do not agree with this perception. He thinks that rationality could produce bad effects and he talks about a 'disenchantment of the state' which comes from an understanding of our administration. When modernity is suposed to be rational, individuals are unable to understand it, when knowledge is only understood by a handful of people, the misunderstanding becomes a reality. [...]


[...] Firstly, it seems interesting to study the structures of the Ancient State and the Modern State in order to determine their differences, and then secondly to examine the theories of states formation through the prism of the war. First Part: Ancient and Modern States First of all, it could be important to choose a general definition of the State. We can consider that a State is an organisation which controls the population occupying a definite territory. A State has to be autonomous, centralised and its divisions must be coordinated with one power. [...]

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