The Making of the Modern State: A Theoretical Evolution by Brian R. Nelson (auth.)

By Brian R. Nelson (auth.)

Nelson offers a old evaluate of the theoretical and ideological evolution of the trendy nation, from pre-state and pre-modern kingdom formations to the current. a big topic of the ebook is the necessity to comprehend the fashionable country holistically, as a totality of social, political, and ideological factors.

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The constitution of the ideally best state, then, is one based upon the maintenance of a division of labor that insures the continued rule of a philosophic elite. This is accomplished by subordinating other classes— the military elite and those performing economic functions—to philosophic rulership, and by denying to the rulers the key objects of self-regardiness, the family and private property. Any other constitution of the state would by definition be unjust since justice requires in the first instance knowledge of what justice is, something that philosophers alone possess.

15 Without a central authority to protect it, the church was required to engage in feudal contracts with various secular authorities to provide for defense of church lands and properties. Hence, the problem of dual authority persisted, but now in an increasingly complex web of feudal relationships that rendered the solution more remote than ever. And it was precisely these relationships that brought the issue to a head in the great controversy surrounding lay investiture (ecclesiastical appointment).

Chapter Four The Christian Republic If contemporary political science is unique in developing stateless political theories against the background of a fully developed state system, medieval political thinking is notable for the opposite reason: It possessed the elements of a state theory without the existence of a state structure. These were derived initially from Roman sources and, later, from classical Greek sources as well. But political consciousness invariably reflects the existing form of polity, and when Greco-Roman concepts were employed to comprehend political realities now far removed from their original political context, particularly in conjunction with the futile attempt to recreate the Roman Empire in the West, their original meanings were inevitably distorted.

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