Political Science

Question 1

How would you define State? Critically examine any tow theories regarding the nature of State?


The word state and its cognates in other European Language (state in Italian, Estado in Spanish, state in French, Start in German) ultimately derive from the Latin status, meaning Condition or status. With the revival of the Roman law in the 14th century in Europe, this Latin term was used' to refer to the legal standing of persons (such as the various estates of the realm-noble, common, and clerical), and in particular the special status of the king. The Status rei publicae, the Condition of public matters. In time, the word lost its reference to particular social groups and came associated with the legal order of the entire society and the apparatus of its enforcement.

In English, State is a contraction of the word estate which is similar to the old French estate and the modern French that, both of which signify that a person has status and therefore estate. The highest estates, generally those with the most wealth and social rank, were those that held power. The early 16th century works of Machiavelli (especially The Prince) played a central role in popularizing the use of the word State in something similar to its modern sense.

The earliest forms of the state emerged whenever it became possible to centralize power in a durable way. Agriculture and writing are almost everywhere associated with this process : agriculture because it allowed for the emergence of a class of people who did not have to spend most of their item providing for their own subsistence, and writing (or the equivalent of writing, like Inch quipus) because it made possible the centralization of vital information.

The first known states were created in Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia India, China, the Inch civilization), and others, but it is only in relatively modern, times that states have almost completely displaced alternative ***Stateless forms of political organization of societies all over the planet. Roving bands of hunter gathers an even fairly sizable and complex tribal societies based on herding or agriculture have existed without any full-time specialized state organization, and these stateless forms of political organization have in-fact prevailed for all of the prehistory and much of the history of the human species and civilization.

Initially states emerged over territories built by conquest in which one culture, one set of ideals and one set of laws have been imposed by force or threat over diverse nations by a civilian and military bureaucracy. Currently, that is not always the case and these are multinational States, federated states and autonomous areas within states.

Since the late 19th Century, virtually the entirety of the world's inhabitable land has been parcelled up into areas which more or less definite borders claimed by various states. Earlier, quite large-land areas had been either unclaimed or uninhabited, or inhabited by nomadic people who were not organized as states. However, even within present-day states their are vast areas of wilderness, like the Amazon Rainforest, which are uninhabited or inhabited solely or mostly by indigenous people'(and some of them remain uncontacted). Also, there are states which do not hold de facto control over all of their claimed territory of where this control is challenged. Currently the international community comprises around 200 Sovereign States, The vast majority of which are represented in the United Nations.

Various Theories: have been put forward to explain the origin of the state. Some philosophers assert that the state is the result of social contract or an agreement between the people and the sovereign. There are others who feel that it is the direct result of force.

There is yet another set of philosophers who contend that the state is a magnified image of the family. All these theories, however, are maimed and fallacious and have little truth in them.

This led Garner to remark, that the state is neither a handiwork of God, nor the result of a superior physical force, nor the creation of a contract, nor a mere expansion of family. It is a slow process of growth and evolution. The state did not come into existence abruptly.

It has developed from its crude and simple form to the modern, complex structure slowly. In the words of Leacock, the State is growth, an evolution, the result of gradual process running through out all the known history of man and receding into remote and unknown past.

To sum up, the origin of the state cannot be traced to a single factor of a definite period. The historical theory regards the state as a product of slow historical evolution extending over a long period. Various factors have contributed to its development. These may be discussed as follows:

  • 1. Social Instinct: Aristotle simply stated'a fact when he remarked : Man is by nature a social animal. The germs of social life are laid the very nature of man. It is this elemented instinct which prompted primitive people to live together in groups. The state is thus primarily based on the gregarious instinct of man. According to Aristotle, state is even primary to family. Its origin lies in the basic instinct of sociability of man. State is thus natural outcome of very social nature of man.
  • 2. Kinship: The social instinct of man was supplemented by Kinship or blood relationship. The earliest human organizations were based on kinship or blood relationship. Blood relationship was the most important bond of union among the primitive people.

    It knit together clans and groups and gave them unity and cohesion. The people who had their origin in a common ancestor lived together in separate social units. Those who could not establish any blood relationship were treated as enemies. Even today, we see various castes and sub-castes.

    In sociological sense they have their origin in common ancestor and caste is still known by the named of that original ancestor. There is a good deal of controversy among political thinkers as to what the form of social organization was in the primitive ages. Certain philosophers assert that tribes and matriarchal families were the ancient social organizations. Others contend that the most primary social group was a patriarchal family.

    Regardless of this controversy Dr. Leacock remarked, there it may be matriarchal family, there it may be patriarchal family, but there is no denying the fact that the family is at basis of the state. Seeds of the state are found in rigid family discipline. It is in the family that a relationship between command and obedience is established. A family represents the figure of a state in miniature. The entire factors essential for the formation of the state are seen in their diminutive form in the family. The members of the family constitute the population Home is the territory. The patriarch or the head of the family forms the government with sovereign power over its members. Hence the justification of Aristotle's remark. State is the magnified image of the family.

    The original family gradually expanded and developed into a household or a 'gen'. The gens by further multiplications developed into clans and clans united to form tribes. The bond throughout was kinship and persons unconnected by blood relationship could not become members of a tribe unless as a special case one was admitted by adoption.

    In a tribe, the head of the oldest or the strongest clan became the ruler generally called the 'Chief and his name became the symbol of 'kinship. In the words of Maclver, kinship created society and society at length created the state.

  • 3. Religion: Religion has played a vital role in the process of the building up of the state. Religion gave unity to the people both in the primitive and middle ages. As Gettle observes, kinship and religion were simply two aspects of the same thing-Common worship was even more essential than kinship subjecting. The primitive man to authority and discipline and to develop in him a keen sense of social solidarities and cohesion. Those outside were regarded as stranger and even as enemies. People were thus united together under the authority of the same religious sovereign, Religion appeared in the world in different forms of different stages of history. In the very early times, the prevalent religion of mankind was animism-worship of animals, trees and stories. It was later supple-mented with ancestral worship. People descending from the same ancestors were thus united together.

    Later, religion appeared in the form of Nature worship. The Primitive men could not understand such natural phenomena as storms, thunder and lightening, or the change of seasons or the mystery of birth and death. They had implicit faith in the spirits of the nature and the spirits of the dead. They were afraid of the forces of nature. They worshipped them out of awe and reverence.

    In subsequent ages, magician kings made their appearance. The magicians pretended that they could propitiate the evil spirit. Thus taking advantage of the fear, ignorance and superstition of the fellowmen, the magicians established their authority. In course of time, the magician kings gave way to priest kings. The priest kings remained popular till late in the middle ages. Religion came to be organized as a regular institution. The Popes dominated the Christian world, the Caliphs established their authority over the Muslim World, etc. Whatever the form of religion, there is no denying the fact the religion gave unity to the people and thus virtually helped in the process of state building.

  • 4. Force: Force also played an important part in the development of the state. In primitive, ages, might was the supreme right. A powerful person would rally round him a number of warriors and attack a certain territory and would establish his domination over it. History is replete with records showing that big state were formed by occupation and conquest through force. The application of force also gave territoriality to modern states. War and migration were important factors responsible for the establishment of various states. The demand for constant warfare often led to the rise of permanent headman or chief. When a tribe was threatened by danger of war, it was driven by necessity to appoint a leader if there was none. The continuation of war was conducive to the establishment of permanent leadership.

    When a leader established his authority over a certain territory by conquest and over the people with whom he had no blood relationship, all these who lived in that territory became his subjects. Kinship remained no longer a bond of unity.

  • 5. Economic: Man has unlimited wants. He cannot satisfy them alone. He has to depend upon others to satisfy his needs. So there is always give and take is society. Man is both selfish and selfess. There are always disputes. State is born to regulate the economic relations between man and man.

  • 6. Political Consciousness: The sixth factor which contributed to the growth and development of the state was the slow rise of political consciousness. It implies the recognition of certain ends of political consciousness. It implies the recognition of certain ends to be attained through political organization. At first the state came into existence merely as an idea, that is, it appeared in a subjective form, without being a physical fact. In course of time, the supreme importance of maintaining peace and order within the community and defending the country against any external aggression was felt. It is here that political consciousness appears in the real form. As Kilson put it, The need for order and security is an ever present factor; man knows instinctively that he can develop the best of which he is capable only by some form of political organization. At the beginning, it might well be that the political consciousness was really political unconsciousness but just as the forces of nature operated long before the discovery of the law of gravitation, political organization really rested on the community of minds, unconscious, dimly conscious or fully con-scions of certain moral ends present throughout the whole course of development

    With the growth of civilization and march of time, man has added to his needs. He requires the cooperation of a large number of persons for the satisfaction of his wants. This, too, is no less an incentive for leading a regulated life in his state. We may conclude with Burgess that the state is the gradual and continuous development of human society out of a grossly imperfect beginning through crud but improving forms of manifestation towards a perfect and universal organization of mankind. The historical theory of the origin of the state contains the best elements of the other theories of origin of the state. It recognizes the merit of the theory of Divine Origin in as much as human nature has a tendency towards political existence. It also takes into account the idea of the force theory that force in one form or another has been responsible for the establishment of states. The Social Contract Theory suggest that consent on the part of the individual in organization of the state. the form of political consciousness has played an important part in the organization of the state. The Patriarchal and the matriarchal theories suggest the kinship played a prominent role the evolution of the state.

Question 2

Critically discuss T. H. Marshall’s Theory of Citizenship.


T. H. Marshall's Social Citizenship is a political concept first highlighted in his essay, Citizenship and the Social Class” in 1949.

Marshall's concept defines the social responsibilities the state has to its citizens or, as Marshall puts it, from (granting) the right to a modicum of economic welfare and security to the right to share to the full in the social heritage and to live the life of a civilized being according to the standards prevailing in the society. One of the key points made by Marshall is his belief in an evolution of rights in England acquired via citizenship, from civil rights in the eighteenth [century], political in the nineteenth, and social in the twentieth. This evolution however, has been criticized by many for only being from the perspective of the white working man. Marshall concludes his essay with three major factors for the evolution of social rights and for their further evolution, listed below:
1. The lessening of the income gap
2. The great extension of the area of common culture and common experience
3. An enlargement of citizenship and more rights granted to these citizens. Many of the social responsibilities of a state have since become a major part of many state's policies (see United States Social Security). However, these have also become controversial issues as there is a debate over whether a citizen truly has the right to education and even more so, to social welfare.
From neo-liberals: Neo-Liberal (Free-Market) ideology (asserts) that state abstention from economic protection is the foundation of a good society, thus they are diametrically opposed to the social rights proposed by Marshall, Neo-liberals instead suggest that welfare programs (some of the social responsibilities discussed by Marshall to help the poor effectively utilize their civil and political rights”), have promoted passivity among the poor, without actually improving their chances, and created a culture of dependency. They instead suggest (and have implemented) welfare requiring fulfillment of obligations.
Proponents of social citizenship are very critical of the Neo-Liberal ideology, suggesting that it is an “assault on the very principle of citizenship, and that the Neo-Liberal institution of fulfillment of obligations as requirement for citizenship, because they suggest that citizenship is inherent and that that is only appropriate to demand fulfillment of the responsibilities after the right to participate is achieved.
From feminists: Some feminist scholars argue that Marshall's essay only reflects the perspective of working class white males. His assertion that in England all people were free and had civil rights is false, as only men had any legal freedom or ability to exercise political or civil rights. Thus, they argue that Marshall fails to discuss the issue of second-class citizens and that he takes for granted the gender and racial hierarchies within society is a fundamental flaw in his work.
However, while Marshall did not discuss the problems associated with having second-class citizenry, he did acknowledge that citizenship itself [has) functioned as an architect of social inequality. Additionally, many feminists see the expansion of social rights as an inherently good thing; especially as today; women in many countries have the same civil and political rights as men. And, feminists see social rights as giving an opportunity to many women to utilize their civil and political rights (just as Marshall suggests white men in England in the 1940s are able to do). Especially as current free-market solutions ſembrace'] a racialized, genderized, and class-biased vision of social equity and community solidarity that favors the interests of the most privileged members of society. Without resources, traditional hierarchies, with white men at the top, are unable to be combated.
The Contract-Charity Dichotomy: Nancy Fraser and Linda Gordon in the essay “Contract versus Charity: Why is there no Social Citizenship in the United States? expanded on T. H. Marshall's original proposition to look at how gender inequality has led to a dismissal of social citizenship within the United States. They argue that, because men were more powerful in civil society, within the male sphere contractual relations dominated, especially in regards to work with wage contracts. Gradually, the male sphere began to dominate more and more of human relations, and thus contractual relations encroached on more and more areas. Because of the hegemony of contract... a specifically modern conception of 'charity' was generated as a complementary other. Thus, welfare and helping the unfortunate became seen as a form of charity, rather than as an obligation. Because of this viewpoint, the receivers of charity were stigmatized for not “earning the charity.
Fraser and Gordon also offer a solution to allowing social citizenship to gain popularity within the United States. They suggest that concentrating the focus of civil citizenship from property-centered to a more solidaristic form would allow citizens to reestablish ties with their community, something they believe is essential for citizens to have in order to believe in welfare and social citizenship as a whole.
Conclusion: T.H. Marshall published his essay in 1949 and it has had a huge impact on many of the citizenship debates which have followed it. Though the original essay fails to view perspectives other than that of a working class white male, social citizenship not only can be but has been applied to myriad peoples. The United States has become disillusioned by the idea of social citizenship, but many industrialized states view social citizenship as their responsibility, even providing welfare outside of their own borders. Marshall's articulation of the idea of social citizenship was vital to the idea's proliferation.