Empires and Nation-states
This introduction to a special issue focuses on the complex and contradictory relationships of empires and nation-states. It contests the traditional views that posit nation-states and empires as the mutually exclusive forms of state organization. The paper identifies the key features of these two ideal types and then briefly reviews the current developments in this field. This introduction also provides a summary overview of the nine contributions that compose the special issue.
Empires and nation-states are not opposed or distinct forms of polity but closely linked forms. Pre-modern empire existed without any contrasting form of polity we might call a nation-state. Rather, they contrasted with non-national state forms such as city-states, small kingdoms and mobile, nomadic polities. These in turn were in constant interaction with any neighbouring empire or empires…
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