"The state is dead. Long live the state." This saying, which was used in the past to refer to the continuity of monarchies, has not lost any of its relevance today. Even though the nation state is often said to be dying out in the face of globalization and European integration, a team headed by Prof. Max Haller from the Institute for Sociology at the University of Graz undertook a project entitled "National identity and citizenship", which proved that this is not the case at all. The findings of this project clearly show that the nation state still has high social significance.
SOUND EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE
These results are based on a world-wide study that formed a central part of the project. It provided results in three different areas:
First, people still identify most closely with their own country rather than a community, region or higher-level entity, such as the EU. While more than half of those questioned felt a very close connection with their own country, only 30 percent could relate in the same way to the concept of "Europe". This solidarity is also demonstrated by people’s unwillingness to emigrate – only 4 percent said they would be prepared to move to another region within the EU and only 1 percent would be prepared to move to either another country or region outside of Europe.
Second, people within a country have the most similar values, as Prof. Haller explains with an example: "It would be easy to assume that Catholic Bavarians identify more closely with Austrians rather than Protestant north Germans, who also have a different ethnic and linguistic origin. However, this is not the case. As far as values are concerned, Bavarians share more common ground with north Germans than with Austrians. This shows that identification with a nation state is more important than the lower-level regional unit."
Third, state structures and a country’s predominating values play a large part in shaping the views of its inhabitants. This factor becomes apparent when inhabitants are asked to assess the social (in)equality of their own country. In countries where inequality is high, for example in Brazil, people can be very critical of the system. However, in countries such as the U.S., the belief in individual advancement can considerably weaken these critical faculties. In these countries, the dream of rising from rags to riches is commonplace.
The findings of the studies are based on an evaluation of extensive data from international statistical data manuals and the "International Social Survey Programme" (ISSP). Prof. Haller explains: "We can use the ISSP to access data from social-scientific research institutions in more than 40 countries. For example, our research group has been collecting data on Austria for more than 20 years now."
This project, which also includes studies on national and European identity, Europeans’ attitude towards democracy, understanding of citizenship and political participation, was able to use this data to evaluate the importance of the nation state empirically. As a result, the myth that the nation state is threatened with extinction is disproved for the foreseeable future. The FWF project shows that, despite global changes, citizens continue to identify with their country in terms of security and justice, welfare and culture.
Till C. Jelitto | alfa
Amazingly flexible: Learning to read in your thirties profoundly transforms the brain
26.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften
Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
Researchers from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, the Italian Space Agency (ASI), and the Instituto Geofisico--Escuela Politecnica Nacional (IGEPN) of Ecuador, showed an increasing volcanic danger on Cotopaxi in Ecuador using a powerful technique known as Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR).
The Andes region in which Cotopaxi volcano is located is known to contain some of the world's most serious volcanic hazard. A mid- to large-size eruption has...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
16.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
16.08.2017 | Materials Sciences
16.08.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research