Political Sociology: A Reader

By S. N. Eisenstadt | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XI

The Process of Center Formation in
Modern States

INTRODUCTION
TO THE READINGS

These selections should be read together with the various excerpts on legitimation and revolutionary origins that were presented in Chapter IX.

The excerpts in the second part of this section that deal with the structural aspects of center building are all focused around a common theme—that of state and nation building. They deal, however, with this problem in different settings; that is, in the European setting as well as in the New Nations. The very diversity of the concrete problems to which they address themselves emphasizes the great differences in the process of center building and of the meaning of nationhood, statehood, and so forth, in these different settings.

Symmons-Symonolewicz's article is an attempt at a comparative analysis of the different and most important types of rational movements from the point of view of center formation.

The rest of the selections in the second section provide analyses of the formation of national identities and centers in different types of modern society. S. M. Lipset analyzes this process in the First New Nation—the United States. Hans Rogger analyzes this process in modern Russia, where the formation of a modern political center was already caught up in the contradiction between the existing traditional state and modern nationalism on the one hand and the revolt against the "West"" on the other. The general theme of the revolt against the West and its effect on political development beyond Europe is taken up by Barraclough.

The various threads presented here reappear again in the next section which deals with the different types of modern political regime.

-456-

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