What is Nationhood?


What is Nationhood?

What is a nation? A nation is essentially a group of individuals gathered together on the basis of a shared history, culture, language, tradition and, in most instances, a similar economy. A nation is an economic collective identity of a geographically diverse population. Historically, the term “nation” was used to refer to a political body of nation-states ruled over by a centralized government.

Now, one must clarify what exactly is meant by the term “nation.” A nation state is ruled over by a centralized power with a recognized political legitimacy. Historically, there have been two kinds of nations: nation-states and democracy. The former refers to actual states existing within a country; the latter refers to self-rule arrangements among nations (coastal nations or satellite nations). Some nations, like South Korea and several former Soviet countries, are considered to be in a class of nation-state; others, like Switzerland, are not.

Nation-states lack a federal identity and are ruled over by a central government which assumes the citizenship of all the inhabitants of the region. This means that some areas, particularly in the European region, would be multicultural nations while others, such as Denmark, would be ethnic, national identities. In terms of economics, nations share goods and services, resources and debt through the operation of exchanges and trade. Economists often refer to the level of nationalism in a country as being proportional to the extent to which it is integrated into the global market.