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Title: Classical sociology and the nation-state: a re-interpretation
Authors: Chernilo, Daniel
Keywords: Classical sociology
Methodological nationalism
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: © Sage
Citation: CHERNILO, D., 2008. Classical sociology and the nation-state: a re-interpretation. Journal of Classical Sociology, 8 (1), pp. 27 - 43
Abstract: This article revisits the claim, largely accepted within the sociological community for over thirty years now, that classical sociologists had no clear concept of the nation-state and thus were unable to conceptualize its rise, main features and further development in modernity. In contradistinction to this standard view, which in current debates receives the name of methodological nationalism, I advance a re-interpretation of classical sociology's conceptualization of the nation-state that points towards what can be called the opacity of its position in modernity. Marx understood the historical elusiveness of the nation-state as he believed that it had already passed its heyday as political struggles were fought between Empires and the Commune. Weber captured the sociological equivocations that arose from the historical disjuncture between the nation and the state. And Durkheim, finally, tried to come to terms with the nation-state's normative ambiguity via the immanent tension between nationalism and cosmopolitanism. The conclusion is that, even if not thoroughly unproblematic, classical sociologists were able to avoid the reification of the nation-state's position in modernity precisely because they were not obsessed with conceptualizing modernity as such from the viewpoint of the nation-state. Copyright © 2008 SAGE Publications.
Description: This article was published in the serial, Journal of Classical Sociology [© Sage]. The definitive version is available at:http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1468795X07084693
Version: Accepted for publication
DOI: 10.1177/1468795X07084693
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/13292
Publisher Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1468795X07084693
ISSN: 1468-795X
Appears in Collections:Published Articles (Social Sciences)

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