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Post-nationalism, sovereignty and the state

Wickham, G. (2021) Post-nationalism, sovereignty and the state. Journal of Sociology, 57 (1). pp. 47-58.

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The term ‘post-national formations’ is a product of some of the recent work of Jürgen Habermas. In using this term, Habermas highlights what he regards as a laudatory trend in social and political research. This is the trend away from an intense focus on the role of nation-states – a role he believes to be unconducive to progressive politics – and towards a focus on the role of new configurations – a role he believes to be much more conducive to this type of politics. ‘Post-national formations’, then, is the term Habermas uses to describe new non-state configurations he has identified. He is confident these configurations will eventually break free of the supposed yoke of the nation-state and usher in a new era of progressivism. This article is not concerned with the post-national formations literature per se. Rather, it is concerned with this literature’s failure to take into account the full history of both the nation-state and the notion of sovereignty that helps the nation-state to function. In pursuing this concern, the article draws material from various sources to offer a short historical defence of the sovereign state.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Social Sciences and Arts
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Copyright: © 2021 by Australian Sociological Association
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