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Cultures and Institutions Essay

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Updated: Jan 9th, 2019

Introduction

The growth and rise of globalization in the 21st century has been a significant landmark for the development of nation-hoods around the world, which has also gave birth to transnational endeavors as the foremost form that identifies the general goals of human societies.

A nation may either fall under a constitutional or liberal state and also in the form of a representative democracy. The nation-state concept is derived from medieval Europe, whereby, various nations are under sovereign territories with different forms of governments that govern their mass populations as a whole, while also possessing resources that lie within their defined borders.

Furthermore, national and transnational objectives in the contemporary world have consequently shaped into the formation of both continental and regional blocs and partnerships that have an edge on technological innovation, military advancement, and socio-economic benefits.

Characteristics of the Modern Nation-State

Although most nation-states are dissimilar in their composition, cultural homogeneity, political complexion, shape, resources and size, they still have a broad similarity in their political characteristics which includes an open democratic system that has large political outfits and well-built legal systems. The open system is also stratified to a class structure with an individual bearing the status itself and other transferable resources that include wealth and education, which are its core foundations (Bergman & Renwick, 2008).

In this relation, a modern nation-state has a social mobility that is an incorporated feature which is contrary to the rigid, family, and other stratifications of non-transferable based-resources that is seen in non-modern societies. In addition to drawing authenticity from the people, the centralized form of government in a modern nation-state simply embodies authority that is reputed to reside somewhere else.

The economies of modern nation-states also do seek for sustained growth as a continuous primary objective (Perry & Perry, 2009). Furthermore, apart from military strength and valor, a modern nation-state also boasts of a diverse constituent of cultural groups that distinguishes various cultural groupings, which defines and characterizes the modern yet complex nation-state.

Examples of a Modern Nation, State, and Nation-State

The Cherokee Nation

Since a nation is also a group of people who are stoutly unified in their culture, history, language, and traditions, the Cherokee people found in the United States are a fine example of an integrated nation and their tribe is federally recognized even though they do not have any form of physical border that defines their nationhood.

The Cherokee people have an internal form of government that has fundamental laws which are institutionalized to govern them according to their culture and traditions which they strongly uphold and understand.

To help them carry these objectives, the have an executive, legislative, and judicial branches that has a Principal Chief, Tribal Council, and a Judicial Appeals Council consecutively heading the three branches. The Cherokee people are also a nation to themselves since they predominantly enjoy tribal sovereignty and the self-government privileges which is extended to them by the U.S Congress and both the Federal and State Courts (Braudel, 1992).

Kenya as a State

Kenya absolutely fits a statehood description as it rose from irreconcilable societal antagonisms and struggles to form an independent state that does not share either its governmental or religious authority with others and is only answerable to itself. This means that they are independent of its territorial affairs and conducts its internal affairs devoid of any ‘outside’ interference and is at will to enter into foreign relations .

Kenya is also a sovereign state since it has a permanent population and as an institution, it has the utmost authority than any other social institutions and it also has the sole responsibility of noting and registering the births and deaths of its people since it has set regulations that protects the health and sanitation of its people.

As a feature of most states, Kenya further takes pride in having state-owned corporations and also has a power-backed authority that makes and implements all the obligatory rules that govern the people within a specific territory.

Therefore, in order to meet either political or economical needs, state-owned institutions are staffed with state functionaries that are overrun by a central system of state leadership (Bergman & Renwick, 2008). In order to conduct the state’s affairs with foreign governments and its people, Kenya has a political system that have the people elect into office those they wish will help shape the country in accordance with the stipulated law that makes them self-independent (Zheng, 1997).

Germany as a Nation-State

The nation-state model is factually embraced in Germany since it has a multicultural society that has fundamental laws that serves and protects diverse communities in endeavoring state-building. As opposed to dynastic monarchies, Germany as a national-state has a protected territorial attitude since they also have diverse kinds of border that includes factors such as rivers and mountain ranges which are principally recognized by the vicinity in which a national group settles.

Germany has therefore used its nation-state model to progress and sustain economic growth, national unity and both cultural and social lives that are greatly ‘rich’ in the nation’s historical experience, while also formalizing national policies that facilitates such advancements as they are familiar with their own pluricultural and polyethnic temperament (Bergman & Renwick, 2008).

How the United States fits and functions in the Modern Nation-State criteria

The United States (U.S) has various individual states that make up the country itself and although these states possess authority over their own territories, they are not entirely sovereign since they are they are the main constituents of the greater nation-state which is self-ruling.

The American Revolution unified these states together for the purpose of greater social unity, economic growth, and a well systematized form of government (Perry & Perry, 2009). Although the states have individual governments since they are political and geopolitical entities that have significance in cultural or ethnic aspects, they are solely answerable to the Federal Government which governs the overall country known as the United States of America under which the state’s combined territorial borders lie within.

The U.S has systematic form of government that is further divided into three branches that includes the executive, legislative, and the judiciary. It is also sub divided into the federal, state, and local levels which all act together in achieving the specific goals wished to be attained by the federal government. Therefore, the United States is by right a sovereign state since many nations are contained within its borders (Naylor, 1998).

Attributes of the United States Government that makes them a Nation-State Society

Fixed Territory

First and foremost, the U.S laws are enforced within its territory that includes the member states and all natural resources. The U.S territorial constitution has a ‘fixed’ guideline that contains legal importance which is mandatory for all local, state, and federal government to follow and uphold together with its people and even though it does not contain all territorial possessions, congress and the judiciary does play a big role in defining such circumstances from time to time (Bergman & Renwick, 2008).

The federal government has the sole jurisdiction of managing and safeguarding its territory which also includes political institutions, regions, subdivisions, and strategic frontiers.

These territories have limitedly managed by local governments who also adhere to the guidelines set by the federal government in conjunction with congress and even though a territory may be short of resources, they indefinitely remain as territories until defined otherwise by congress or the federal government.

Sovereignty

The U.S as a country holds the sovereign power and authority over a specific geographical territory and possesses the supremacy of making laws and ruling by it for political facts which cannot be legally explained, this makes the federal government have the ethical imperative of exercising saw laws that work for the benefit of the country. The sovereignty also implies on the federal government’s capability of being effective yet independent within its defined geographical territory (Bergman & Renwick, 2008).

Common culture

The U.S population consists of a diverse ethnic background and they are all governed within fundamental laws which adhere to their constitutional rights. This brings in a common culture of tolerance and respect of the diverse ethnic communities living in country since they all have a common nationality.

The U.S common culture is practiced through the freedom of expression, political structures, competitiveness in scientific and military fields, social events, and also in elements that pertain to conservative and liberal factors. This common culture defines the nation as a whole as states are not restrained by sovereignty or territorial concerns (Perry & Perry, 2009).

Examples of U.S Foreign Policy Objectives

Regime Change

This form of U.S foreign policy objective was obviously witnessed all through the Gulf War when the U.S government affirmed an objective of liberating Kuwait from any sort if Iraqi occupation. This policy objective toward Iraq was meant to overthrow Saddam Hussein and his cronies from power even though it was not part of the UN’s Security Council resolution. This objective was further sustained by imposed economic sanctions on Iraq until the Saddam regime was toppled (Litwak & Litwak, 2000).

Policy on Israel

The U.S has a resounding Middle East objective that includes a historical policy on Israel since its inception in 1948 in which they utterly commit themselves to Israel’s security and welfare from any outside threat.

This had made various Jewish-American lobby groups to come out and corporate with the American political system in deepening this trust and alliance throughout different administrations as they are closely bound together by both cultural and historic ties. This commitment is also enshrined in most departmental branches of the U.S government and is a continuous stance for those willing to take on the US presidency (Litwak & Litwak, 2000).

Major Historical Events and Interests of that led to the European Union formation

The late twentieth century saw the start of major global economic adjustments as a result of World War II since there was an intense interest to the theoretical development and enhancement that surrounds international business practices. These longstanding concerns led to the formation of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) in 1951 with hopes benefiting member states through removing the imposed trade barriers in commodities such as steel, iron, coal, and scrap metal (Gronold, 2010).

Later on in 1957, the European Economic Community which is also referred to as the EEC was formed to administer the economic unification of the Western Europe countries. However, the ECSC merged with both the EEC and the European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC) to establish the European Communities in 1967 as it was simply known as the EC.

They further formed their own monetary system known as the European Monetary System in 1979, for the sole purpose of regulating and bringing on monetary efficiency and credibility among member nations. The EC gained transnational success as it liberalized both trade and policies that characterize the internal market.

This also urged the call for political integration between member states that consequently led to the European Union treaty being established in 1991 (Gronold, 2010). This treaty which is also known as the Maastricht Treaty came to define the newly formed European Union (EU) in 1993 as they now used a single currency system while comprehensively adopting new European members with well-set preconditions.

Major Institutions and Nations that structure the European Union

One of the main institutions found within EU is its very own European parliament that magnifies and also reflects the political determination of the citizenry within the EU member states. The Parliament is used to champion democratic values and across a large geographical distance therefore making it the largest transnational Parliament in the whole universe.

Furthermore, the EU also comprises the Council of European Union which can be used individual member countries to champion for their very own political objectives, synchronize national policies and values, and also to make a resolution on any form of discrepancy which may arise through voting or unanimous decision (Bergman & Renwick, 2008).

In addition, the EU also has a Court of Justice that ensures all the laws which govern it are followed by outlining the legal safeguards to its numerous operations and performances. Some of the most significant members that make up the EU include France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

Contemporary role of the EU

Since the modern-day business environment transpires in the private, public, and third sectors, the EU role is to better co-ordinate its policies and legislations in such structural circumstances that requires re-evaluation and redefinition of governance philosophy. In addition, the EU also facilitates new service delivery and policy-making criteria’s through the use of better information.

Furthermore, the EU also sees to it that there is a more efficient exploitation of resources while making sure that more efficient means of qualitative and quantitative auditing of dispensers and EU funds recipients. Significantly, the EU makes sure that there is a maximum equality and treatment of each and every citizen (Perry & Perry, 2009).

EU Objectives

The South-African Agenda

One of the main goals of the EU is to strive at being an instrument of governance in the policymaking process of complex yet sensitive domestic and international issues that calls for diversified collaboration among member states. This was evident in South-Africa until 1990, whereby the EU had increasingly executed both trade and investment sanctions that was aimed at ending the apartheid administration in the country so that democratic reforms would be introduced.

In 1994, after democratic elections were held, the EU changed its policy directive to grant South Africa a Generalized System of Preference (GSP) status and other development agreements that would improve its economic growth. In this case, the main EU had a political policy and directive which was aimed at reinforcing democracy, peace and permanence in South Africa (Gronold, 2010).

Policy on Mediterranean Countries

The EU enacted a policy in 1995 that came to be referred as the Barcelona Declaration while also adopting a Common Strategy Agreement that would define its dealings with Eastern and South Mediterranean countries.

The main objective of these policies was to draw awareness on the need of supporting peace permanence in the region for the security of EU and also to reduce the high rates of illegal immigration. In 2010, the creation of the Mediterranean free-trade agreement is seen to be a big step towards realizing these objectives (Gronold, 2010).

How the U.S and E.U can engage in foreign Policy to achieve their interests

Since the concept of nation-state and transnational entities do possess a close cultural relation and values, merging both the domestic concepts and classes of the U.S and EU has continued to contribute towards a broad shift in their corresponding national and transnational orientations for a valued correspondence and participation in global activities and concerns (Perry & Perry, 2009).

This kind of U.S-EU cooperation is evident after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in which a joint policy saw a far-reaching arrest warrant and measures being put in place in order to tackle money laundering activities. Through mutual agreement of participation and interest, the US-EU cooperation will continue to influence the global balance of power and also in the respective institutions carrying out such policies.

Analysis of the consequences of this interaction for International Politics

By merging the internal political and social processes of with those of transnational interests, any country can be in a good position to gain multinational rallying and support. This instance was obviously witnessed after the 9/11 attacks as U.S directive on counter attacks received a far-fetched support across transnational borders.

Therefore, this showed that transnational do supersede a nation-state value to the global center-stage as they are now perceived to provide a solutions that would comprehensively shape world politics, economy, and social formulations that accepts new challenges (Gronold, 2010).

This would mean that a nation-state with transnational objectives and population has the capability and power to politically affect various societies as it represents a substantial number of people from diverse ethnic groups and customs that formulate the global view and situations.

References

Bergman, E. F., & Renwick, W. H. (2008). Introduction to geography: People, places and environment (4th ed.). New Jersey: Prentice Hall. ISBN-10: 0132238993, ISBN-13: 9780132238991.

Braudel, F. (1992). Civilization and Capitalism, 15th-18th Century: The Perspective of the World. Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press. ISBN-0520081161, 9780520081161.

Gronold, D. (2010). Identity Matters: Different Conceptualisations of Belonging from the Perspective of Young Slovenes. Münster: Waxmann Verlag. ISBN-3830923791, 9783830923794

Litwak, R. S., & Litwak, R. (2000). Rogue States and U.S. foreign policy: containment after the Cold War. Washington, D.C: Woodrow Wilson Center Press. ISBN-0943875978, 9780943875972

Naylor, L. L. (1998). American Culture: myth and reality of a culture of diversity. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN-0897895428, 9780897895422

Perry, J. A., & Perry, E. K. (2009). Contemporary society: An introduction to social science (12th ed.). ISBN-10: 0205578675, ISBN-13: 9780205578672

Zheng, S. (1997). Party vs. state in post-1949 China: the institutional dilemma. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. ISBN-0521588197, 9780521588195

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