"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
Salmonellae are dangerous pathogens that enter the body via contaminated food and can cause severe infections. But these bacteria are also known to target...
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
23.10.2017 | Event News
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
23.10.2017 | Life Sciences
23.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.10.2017 | Health and Medicine