December 18, 2018 in Research
The Emergence of the Modern State

States have been evolving from the ancient until the modern times. Moreover, states have appreciated the existence of changes in the society and they have been obliged to keep up with the transformations. The changes among the states touch on political, economic, social or scientific aspects. Scholars and socialists have been contributing theoretically to the changes. They have done great scholarly works that have described the emergence of a modern state as a positive move of the society. Scholars have also been criticizing the various aspects that have been unpleasant in the modern state. The political arena has been the greatest area that has had the attention of the scholars. The essay aims at describing the opinions and discussions of scholars, Gianfranco Poggi, James Scott and Timothy Mitchell on the emergence of a modern state which is a significant historical event.

The major fields of change among the aspects in the emergence of modern state are the political systems. In the early states, the political system was more of traditional. There was decentralization of power among the societal groups in country. The countries either used the monarchial system or hereditary system of governance (Poggi 32). There were kings and queens in the governing councils of the countries. However, changes have been brought about in the political system. Centralization of power has been the key element in the modernization of states. The centralization of powers has been advocated for by the scholars because it leads to the union of the people in a state. The states have established governments with mostly a president as the head of state. Organization within the political system has been a point of concern in the modernization of states. Other changes have occurred in the fields of economy; where people have improved on their economic activities, and the scientific arena.

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Gianfranco Poggi has been on the forefront in analyzing the modernization of states to ensure that the process has been efficient and effective for states. He was among the first individuals who worked on the field of analyzing state affairs. He has made many states histories in his job of historicizing those states (Poggi 37). His means of historicizing states has invited attention to changes of knowledge base on which the states depend on. In his scholarly jobs, Poggi has highlighted various issues and points that have been of interest to the modernization of states. 

Firstly, Poggi has identified the three development processes in the act of states rising and the connection of these processes with science in the emergence of modern times (Poggi 48). The first development process was the dynamics of the nineteenth century whereby states expanded and consolidated their authority in the policy of centralization of rule. The second process was the take of states on new duties. The second process was interlinked with the growth of governments in the nineteenth century. The governments later grew massively in the twentieth century whereby the growth was neither steady nor uniform but it took a long period of time. Poggi refers to it as the functionalization of rule whereby the advanced states could engage more on instruments for attaining wider social purposes. Poggi wanted to draw a close lone between the governance of a state and the social agendas. The two always worked together because governance was a social activity. The third development process according to Poggi was a process Poggi referred to as rationalization of rule (Poggi 55). The process involved changes in the cognitive aspects of governance. The process also reflects more on social power than the custom hereditary power.  He insisted on the need for a representative government through the platform of either democratic or republican ideas. He insisted on the simplicity of the third process but people have overlooked it and have not adhered to it. 

According to Poggi’s ideas, he had viewed the development process as more critical. Although he based his argument on the governance part of transition, the part he addressed generally affected the society (Poggi 62). The changing of governance would ensure that the society receives a complete change within the modernization strategy. Therefore, Poggi’s arguments would lead to modernization of states in a broad capacity. 

Gianfranco Poggi also looked into the importance of cognitive components of state action. The components were highly rewarding to the society because they stimulated the growth of new kinds of knowledge in the society. Poggi’s argument was valid because in the early modern times, the language of statecraft was a judicial language (Poggi 77). As the society changed, non-judicial forms of languages have been developed in the fields of natural and social sciences. The change in the language forms has had a lot of significance to the life of governance. The language forms change has also led to the diversification of knowledge which was the main aspect Poggi was fighting for in his scholarly work. Therefore, the achievement of the knowledge spread in the modern states has led to the decency of the states. Therefore, Poggi greatly contributed to the decency available in the modern states.

Poggi’s argument was based on the aspect of identification of politics as a science. This identification created the real nature of politics because it has formed solid arguments in the field of governance (Poggi 81). The science nature of politics has brought about changes in other areas of the modern state. The field of economy has been diversified through the use of science. This is because technology has been incorporated into business. Therefore, technology in business has transformed economy of states. However, science aspects of politics have received criticism, because of its complex nature. Politics have been described to be psychological in nature. Therefore, science urges politicians to argue out their points in a realistic way rather than taking a psychological look into it. Therefore, Poggi’s argument had aimed at development of a better society.

James Scott was a critical person in the system of beliefs and he refers to it as high modernism. Scott’s belief was centered on confidence in the ability to control the society through designing and operating it within scientific laws (Scott 21). The book ‘Seeing like a State’ was a study of the twentieth century on issues of modernization of state. Scott has used historical concepts to guide the society of the modernism that is required. He was after the existence of a pleasant and adorable future whereby the modern states would live with a scientific notion within them (Scott 25). This vision and work of Scott has been realized because most states have been integrating science all the way into their activities. Moreover, Scott stated that centralization and planning were the two major socio-political concepts. He criticized the political method that was based on the two concepts at the twentieth century (Scott 37). The political methods at that time made irresponsible societies, culture and practices that developed without any significant order. Scott emphasized that the government was the core player in influencing the people’s life.

Scott aimed at simplification of the complex phenomena that had been created during the twentieth century. The complexity of the policies during the twentieth century has caused legibility among many sectors. Complexity had been involved in land ownership among other critical areas of human living (Scott 52). Scott came up with policies that would help in engineering the society from these tragic episodes in the twentieth century. He developed a combination of four elements that would meet the engineering purpose. The elements included administrative ordering of nature and society, the confidence of the scientific and technical progress, an authoritarian state, and a protest civil society (Scott 34). His arguments used these elements in creation of a better modern state. He used the state of governance in various nations to show how the elements would lead to a better modern society.

The first element of his engineering argument was the administrative ordering of nature and the society (Scott 56). He argued out this element using the complex rules that the governments came up with. The rules were aimed at benefiting a few in the society. Therefore, he called for an administrative approach of governing. An administrative approach is aimed at administering services to the public rather than benefiting a few of the people. This approach would ensure the provision of equitable rules that will foresee better governance of the society.

The confidence in the scientific and technical progress was the most crucial of Scott’s elements (Scott 73). He argued the importance of science in the creation of a better society. He reinstated what Gianfranco Poggi had argued out about science. However, Scott’s argument was increasingly based on the attitude of the people towards scientific and technological progress. He insisted that for a better modern state, the people ought to weigh the importance of involving science in their nations. Science was the backbone of creation of a better modern state. Therefore, the people ought to embrace and have confidence in the scientific progress of the society.

A modern state also required to be an authoritarian and embrace the existence of a civil society. Scott stated that an authoritarian state would ensure that power has been centralized to one point (Scott 89). He argued that the authority would lead to a more unified state that would meet more developments.  Scott also argued that the existence of a civil society in the modern society would ensure a far much better society. The existence of a civil society would help to outdo the misdoings of governance that would influence the well-being of the modern society. Therefore, an authoritarian state and existence of the civil society would ensure a well-developed modern state.  

Timothy Mitchell was an American political scientist and analyzed the states’ political status. He was among the top scholars who advocated for a better and great modern state. As a result, he came up with a resolution to write a historical book called The Limits of the State: Beyond Statist Approaches and their Critics. The book analyzes the required standards for the realization of a modern state. Mitchell stated the methods of state organization that would lead to a better modern state (Mitchell 12). He analyzed the organizational approaches that would lead to a better society.

Timothy Mitchell stood out in the book to fight against the governance issues within the Middle East countries (Mitchell 24). He focused on the development and political aspects in Egypt and Middle East countries. He analyzed the powerful resonate across qualitative politically oriented social sciences in the Middle East. He argued out that for a better modern state, social science was a fundamental key to it. He argued that social science created a better community that is based on the social harmony of people. This harmony would lead to more of the developments and changes across the world. As a result a better modern state would be established. Therefore, Mitchell dictated a social scientific society that would result into a better modern society.

Mitchell also stated the issue of negligence of the state as a social evil in most countries. In his book, Mitchell said that most people had abandoned the concept of existence of the state (Mitchell 50). He described the society as selfish whereby it is more concentrative on personal issues than the welfare of state development. The selfish nature of the people has led to social injustices among the people. Therefore, Mitchell took an initiative to engage the society in a policy that would enable its recovery.

Mitchell’s recovery policy was aimed at uniting the society and leading it to being a modern state. The policy involved steps that could help in the recovery. The first step was the return of the society. Mitchell argued that for recovery of the state, it was mandatory for the people to appreciate existence of the state and bring it back to reality (Mitchell 59). The second step was introduction of a subjective attitude towards the state. This could ensure that the state has met most of its objectives because the success of the state is placed to be the subject. The other step was actualization of the state. The state could be practically viewed thus creating active contributions towards success of the state. These steps could create a favorable modern state as it mold the state into a more practical object that people have to work so as to develop it.

In conclusion, the emergence of a modern state has greatly relied on the scholars who have been making significance contributions through their scholarly work. The emergence of a modern state has been the result of changes from an ancient state to modern state. Various platforms have been created by these changes. Gianfranco Poggi, James Scott, and Timothy were some of the scholars who wrote their books to help in theoretical building of a modern state. Although their contribution is theoretical, they have motivated the society towards pushing for a modern state. Therefore, the contributions of the scholars should not be overlooked in explaining the emergence of the modern state.


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