Monday, January 27, 2020

Modern State System in International Relations

Modern State System in International Relations What is the most significant feature of the modern state and how has it shaped international relations? The core of the early modern period to vast histories of sovereignty and state formation is a topic mentioned in some of the work done by the most influential political theorists of the past century. However an attempt of understanding the nature of political consciousness requires a historical understanding of the theoretical evolution of the modern state itself. This, in turn, requires an understanding of earlier state formations and ideologies that has influenced the evolution (Nelson, 2006). In this essay, I will discuss the topic of the modern state, its significant feature and how modern state has shaped international relations. In discussing the features, this essay also aims to identify and define the term state, its components and how modern state transformed, followed by the main significant feature and its impact towards the new era of international relations. The modern state is believed to have risen between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries in Europe, and later spread to the rest of the world through conquest and colonialism. This ideal of modern state comprises of four defining characteristics that is bureaucracy, legitimacy, territory, and sovereignty (external and internal). States uses these four characteristics to provide their citizens goods such as security, a legal system, and infrastructure (Drogus Orvis, 2014). A failed state or â€Å"weak state† is a state-like entity that cannot coerce and is unable to successfully control the inhabitants of a given territory (Clark Golder, 2012). They are incapable of providing these goods, and once a state has become weak, it loses effective sovereignty over part of its territory. The most definitive terms of state comes from the German political sociologist and economic historian Max Weber (1864–1920). Max Weber claims that â€Å"the state is human community that successfully claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory†. He argued that â€Å"the state cannot be defined in terms of its ends and ultimately, one can define the modern state only in terms of the specific means peculiar to it, as to every political association, namely, the use of physical force† (Weber, 1958) . There are two recent definitions of a state, the first by a sociologist named Charles Tilly and the second is by the Nobel-laureate economist, Douglass North. According to Tilly, states are â€Å"relatively centralized, differentiated organizations, the officials of which, more or less, successfully claim control over the chief concentrated means of violence within a population inhabiting a large contiguous territory† (Tilly, 1985). On the other hand, Douglas North says that â€Å"a state is an organization with a comparative advantage in violence, extending over a geographic area whose boundaries are determined by its power to tax constituents† (North, 1981). There are three components to the modern state comprises of territory, people and central government. Territory comprises of the element on which its other elements exist. People are every territorial unit that participates in international relations supports human life. Central government is the members of the st ate designated as its official representatives. Some of the significant features of modern state may be the dominant form of political authority and imagination today but it has taken many and specific forms across the world without completely removing or overruling older languages of power and public authority. According to Weber, the modern statemonopolizesthe means of legitimate physical violenceover awell-defined territory. Monopoly on force– has the right and ability to use violence, in legally defined instances, against members of society, or against other states. Legitimacy/authority– its power is recognized by members of society and by other states as based on law and some form of justice. Territoriality– the state exists in a defined territory (which includes land, water and air) and exercises authority over the population of that territory. Sovereignty the idea that there is a final and absolute authority in the political community’, with the proviso that ‘no final and absolute authority exists elsewhere. Constitutionality Impersonal power The public bureaucracy Citizenship (Pierson, 1996) The most significant feature of modern state is undoubtedly the monopoly on force. All states will at least use the threat of force to organize public life. The fact that dictatorships might use force should not hide the fact that state rule in democracies is based on the threat of force (Mandisodza, 2012). This explains why North and Tilly only claim that states must have a â€Å"comparative advantage in violence† or have control â€Å"over the chief concentrated means of violence†. More important than the actual monopolization of violence may be the inauguration of a unitary order of violence. Violence and the threat of violence continued to be a chronic feature of the daily life (Pierson, 1996). A state is more than a government. A state is the medium of rule over a defined or sovereign territory. It is comprised of an executive, a bureaucracy, courts and other institutions. In a broad sense, any polity, any politically organised society, can be viewed as a state and various criteria can be used to distinguish between different kinds of state. However, according to Phillip Bobbit, state loses its legitimacy when it can no longer fulfil the function of maintaining, nurturing and improving the condition of its citizen (Axtmann, 2004). Some of the highlighted developments that was identified as essentially undermining the legitimizing premise of the nation-state to improve the wellbeing of the people were; first, the recognition of human rights as norms that require adherence within all states regardless of their internal laws; second, the development of weapons of mass destruction that render the defence of state borders ineffectual; third, the proliferation of global and tran snational threats that no nation-state alone can control or evade; fourth, the growth of global capitalism, which curtails the capacity of states for economic management; and, fifth, the creation of a global communications network that penetrates borders and threatens national languages, customs, and cultures (Bobbitt, 2002). These developments and the loss of legitimacy of nation-state, has led to a new constitutional order, which is the modern state. Changing  interpretations of the modern state  would certainly provoke conflicting views of sovereignty in the context of international relations. Modernization has brought a series of benefits to people such as equal treatment of people with different backgrounds and incomes, lower infant mortality rate, lower starvation-caused death, lower cases of fatal diseases, and so on. However, there are also the negative sides of modernity pointed out by sociologists and others. Technological development and environmental problems such as pollution are another negative impact of modernity. Additionally, the declining definitions of human nature, human dignity, and the lack of value in human life have all been indicated as the impact of a social process/civilization that reaps the fruits of growing privatization, as well as a loss of traditional values and worldviews. Because states needed to acquire greater wealth to finance military and political endeavours, a competitive state system b ased on the support of wealthy aristocrats emerged. This also contributed to the rise of mercantilism, and, ultimately, a modern capitalist economy (Farr, 2005). In conclusion, while many of these features of modern state have been rendered, histories seem to suggest those aspects may not be simple exceptions to the essential characteristics of modernization, but mandatory parts of it. As we approach the end of an era of a politically sovereign nation-state, we are also beginning to recognize that state’s self-sufficiency is hard to achieve. As a result, modern wars were categorised into two, either imperialistic wars designed to allow powerful states to become more self-sufficient by taking control of populations, territories and resources to be used for that purpose, or nationalist wars designed to reunite parts of the nation with the national state (Elazar). What is needed is a new kind of imperialism that is adequate to a world of human rights and cosmopolitanism value. Yet the weak still need the strong, and the strong still need an orderly world, in which an efficient and well-governed export stability and liberty, and openness f or investment and growth seem eminently desirable. But it leaves many question unanswered, and above all we are still left wondering how different states will be in the future. References Ahmad, R.E., Eijaz, A., 2011, â€Å"Modern Sovereign State System is under Cloud in the Age of Globalization†, South Asian Studies – A Research Journal of South Asian Studies, Vl.26, No.2, pp.85-297 Axtmann, R., 2004, â€Å"The State of the State: The Model of the Modern State and its Contemporary Transformation†, International Political Science Review, Vol.25, No.3, pp.259-279 Bobbitt, P., 2002, â€Å"The Shield of Achilles: War, Peace and the Course of History†, London: Allen Lane. Bobbitt, P., 2002, The Archbishop is Right: The Nation-State is Dying, The Times Clark, W.R., Golder, M., Golder, S.N., 2012, â€Å"Chapter 4: The Origins of the Modern State†, Principles of Comparative Politics, Vol. 2, pp1-66 Closson, S, Kolsto, P, Seymour, L.J.M., Caspersen, N, 2013, â€Å"Unrecognized States: The Strugge for Sovereignty in the Modern International System†, Nationalities Paper: The Journal of Nationalism and Ethnicity, Routledge Publishing, Vol.41, pp.1-9 Drogus, C.A., Orvis, S., 2014, â€Å"Chapter 3: The Modern State†, Introducing Comparative Politics: The Modern State, Sage Publication CQ Press, 2nd Edition Farr, J., 2005, â€Å"Point: The Westphalia Legacy and The Modern Nation-State†, International Social Science Review, Vol. 80, Issue 3/4, pp.156-159 Mann, M, 1993,â€Å"A Theory of The Modern State†, The Sources of Social Power Volume 2, The Rise of Classes and Nation States 1760-1914, Cambridge University Press, Vol.2, pp.44-89 Morris, C.W, â€Å"The Modern State†, Handbook of Political Theory, Sage Publications, pp.1-16 Nelson, B.R, 2006, â€Å"State and Ideology† The Making of the Modern State – a Theoretical Evolution, Palgrave Macmillan, pp.1-177 Netzloff, M., 2014,â€Å"The State and Early Modernity†, Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies, University of Pennsylvania Press, Vol. 14, No.1, pp.149-154. North, D.C., 1981, â€Å"Structure and Change in Economic History†, New York: W. W. Norton Company. Pierson, C, 1996, â€Å"The Modern State: The Second Edition†, Routledge Taylor Francis Group, pp.1-206 Sidaway, J.D., 2013, â€Å"The Topology of Sovereignty†, Geopolitics, Department of Geography, National University of Singapore, Vol.18, No.4, pp.961-966 Tilly, C., 1985, â€Å"War Making and State Making as Organized Crime† Peter Evans, Dietrich Rueschmeyer, Theda Skocpol (eds.), Bringing the State Back In, New York Cambridge University Press. Weber, M, 1958 [1918]. â€Å"Politics as a Vocation†, Weber: Essays in Sociology, New York Oxford University Press. pp. 77-128. Chapter 3: The Modern State, Conflict Resolution and Sustainable Peace Building – The Post Modern State, Mandisodza, G.J.T., 2012, â€Å"Chapter 4: The Origins of a Modern State†, The Problem with Sovereignty: The Modern States Collision with the International Law Movement, The Rise and Fall of the Modern State System, 1

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Extent to which the child is the central image in Macbeth Essay

William Shakespeare’s Macbeth is filled with many vivid and recurring images. Such imagery permeates the text and provides strong striking images which, when performed on stage, stay firmly in the audiences’ minds. Many critics have proposed arguments expressing their opinion on what constitutes the central image in Macbeth. On reading the text, or perhaps watching the play, some of the images are more prominent than others. Images such as blood and darkness seem to hold most significance to the plot and to the themes. However, it is only with detailed reading that the image of the child is recognised as being profoundly significant. On first reading, the image of the child may not even be considered, but through meticulous study, this image may become more prominent and prove to be the pivot on which Macbeth’s character swings, it also provides the dynamic which drives the plot forward. Blood is perhaps one of the most striking and gruesome recurring image in the play. Blood has both symbolic and literal meaning in Macbeth, therefore it is widely recognised as one of the major motifs throughout the play. The blood that is shed in Macbeth is a reminder of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s guilt, and it acts as a metaphorical stain on the Macbeth’s consciences. These recurring bloody images play a particularly important role in scenes such as Act 2 Scene 2, when Macbeth returns from the scene of the crime carrying bloody daggers, and with his hands drenched in the King Duncan’s blood. Lady Macbeth too has blood stained hands after she goes back to replace the daggers which her husband has brought back to their chamber. Blood also plays a key role in Act 5 scene 1 when guilt consumes Lady Macbeth’s mind and during her sleepwalking,... ...ace from day to day To the last syllable of recorded time, And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death.† (5:5 18-22) The image of ‘dusty death’, contrasts with the earlier images of fertility which abounded in the early scenes of the text: â€Å"I have begun to plant thee and will labour To make thee full of growing.† (1:4: 28-29) Macbeth’s proto-lineal ambition dies towards the end of the play. He comes to the conclusion that because he has failed in his ambition to found a dynasty, life is pointless. Macbeth sees no reason to live and the feeling of utter hopelessness overwhelms him. Lady Macbeth’s demise signifies that Macbeth’s dynastic dream is dead. He now realises the futility of his crimes, his â€Å"war on children† [7], has been wholly in vain. â€Å"For the babe signifies the future which Macbeth would control and cannot control.† [8]

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Philip Pearlstein Two Models with Blow-Up Chair & Salvador Dali Essay

Through the development of art, the fascination of the female body has been a main motif. It is Venus, Roman Goddess of love who has intrigued the artist, and held their attention for well over a few centuries. She has been not only Venus, but also Aphrodite (the Greek Goddess of Love), she has been Mary, mother of Christ in Gothic tradition and she had been found in the countless faces of women depicted by Picasso, Monet, Degas, Warhol (for isn’t Monroe a goddess? ). The link in these references is that this goddess, whomever she is, is holding the fascination of male artist. This is not to say that female artists have not taken up the trend which she invokes, but the purpose here is to discover how differently she is seen through their eyes in comparison with male visions of ‘love’. Pearlstein’s innovation in completing this project is one of Modernism, mixed with Realism. Pearlstein paints an oil painting of two females. They appear plastic wrapped within the canvas due to the severe highlights Pearlstein applies to both of their bodies. They lay beside each other, one on the chair the other next to the chair, and they both appear to be asleep. These two models or Venus’ are full frontal nude. The viewer is unable to see if they are ashamed or not from their faces because one of them is hiding her face and the other one’s head extends beyond the canvas (this is a trademark of Pearlstein). Though both Venus’ are or appear asleep they are active with the coloring and highlights which Pearlstein has seen fit to attribute to them. The line of light glares down the frontal figures body, highlighting the left breast, the stomach wrinkles and over the curves of both of the legs. This mimics the curves and highlights given to the plastic chair which she ‘sleeps’ upon. The other model fades into the background, yet still has that tiny shot of highlight upon the same appendages and other body parts which the first Venus had on her. The interesting item in this painting is that there are two female figures being painted. This is coupled with the fact that here too, like all the ones before it, Venus is apathetic, or at best the viewer is unable to tell what she (they) are feeling. Never mind the composition, Venus is still without a ‘voice’ in this painting. Through the very brief glimpse of feminine fecundity, and pulchritude, Venus remains elusive, and stoic. It has taken the art movement of the 20th century to see the full force of Venus. She has, with the help of female artists, broken her silence. In Dali’s oil on canvas The Persistence of Memory (1913) the theme of paranoia is persistent in this dreamscape. The distortion of the piece exudes a frightening use of spatial mobility and form. Surrealism is a way in which the expression of fantasy can be forthcoming in the world of Art. Dali exemplifies this notion in his use of foreground and background shapes and the pure psychic automatism which is symbolized in the clocks. Dali’s focus in this work is mainly about freedom; although the context of this work is based on paranoia and the weightiness of time the work is also free from previous constraints of other artistic movements in that it is not a painting dedicated to reason or moral purpose. Dali’s painting is that of a dream and reason becomes a series of disjointed objects in space; there is no rhyme in his work unless it is free verse; that is to say that there is no structure as prior to surrealism the viewer is used to seeing structure. Dali’s work often reflect what Virginia Woolf was so diligently experimenting with, which is unconscious writing or free narrative. Dali painted as though the conscious mind was sleeping, and that is why his paintings are so often reminiscent of dreams as Janson states, â€Å"The notion that adream can be transposed by ‘automatiatic handwriting; directly from the unconscious mind to the canvas, bypassing the conscious awareness of the artist, did not work in practice. Some degree of control was unavoidable. Nevertheless, Surrealism stimulated several novel techniques for soliciting and exploiting chance effects† (Janson â€Å"The History of Art 807) . Even the central figure in The Persistence of Memory is portrayed as though it were sleeping. The unfinished background is almost anachronistic with the foreground as it exhibits a cliff sliding off into a body of water. It seems as though Dali made the background on purpose to confuse the viewer since dreams are intended to be symbolic of personal meaning. The sky in the background also seems incomplete with no visible clouds but merely a color palette that drifts off into a sfumato haze. The background however is not what Dali wanted the viewer to be stricken with as a first impression. The central figure of the painting is unfinished as well. Dali painted an eyeball, and a nose and made no more attention to the rest of the figure. This feeling of incompleteness is unnerving and truly embodies the emotional state and perception of dreaming. The painting is purely inspired by that part of Dali’s unconscious mind. Although the painting exhibits that Dali used controlled in certain aspects of the work such as the use of diagonals, and linear shapes, but the overall impression of the painting lies within the angles, the objects and the general ambience of the piece. The clocks themselves prove to be unnerving both their positions and their lack of solid form, as though they are oozing across the plane in the foreground and the limb near the horizon of the painting, as well as across the half finished face. Another artistic ploy that Dali uses in The Persistence of Memory is his use of shadow; not merely darkness but the chiaroscuro so prevalent in the piece. This furthers the theory of this paper that Dali uses surrealism to tap into the unconscious and the dream world. Dali does the opposite in this painting of previous artists; he places the darkness in the foreground of the painting and the brightness in the background. This is symbolic because Dali wants to evoke to the audience that in the dream world the objects that are in front of the dreamer’s face are not always tangible but looming and undefined. In the background the objects are illuminated but this illumination does not add in defining the object because Dali here uses space to further illustrate his unconscious perspective; the objects in the background are too far away and cannot be seen. Thus, each part of the painting is uncomfortably defined. It is almost nonsensical; these objects of Dali’s in space without a coherent theme except for these persistence clocks. The clocks are the main meaning and focus of the painting and it is through these objects that the theory of this paper rests. The clocks present the theme of paranoia (as mentioned prior). Not only are they draped over the main objects in the foreground but their rendering is disconcerting. Each clock offers a different time, and one clock is closed so that the viewer cannot decipher its time. It is interesting that Dali did not distort the closed clock; it signifies a secret and further exemplifies the state of the dream world present in this painting; that is, the one clock that could offer a valid time is closed and unable to be seen by the painter, or the audience. The contention in the painting is that the central figure of the face is sleeping and is thus oblivious to the clocks, to time, to the unfinished landscape. That is the quintessential meaning of a dream; the sleeping figure is unaware to symbolism, to action, to time, and that is how Dali exudes incoherence in the dream world.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Saint Alphonsa Muttahupadathu - 663 Words

Saint Project – Saint Alphonsa Saint Alphonsa Muttathupadathu was born on August 19th, 1910 in the state of Travancore in India. Alphonsa was born to a family of five children. Her mother, Maria Puthukari, died three months after Alphonsa’s birth. At her infancy she lived with her grandparents in Elumparambil and after her first school cycle ended she lived with her Aunt Anna Murickal. St. Alphonsa died in 1946. Alphonsa lived a very Catholic life from her early age. As a child she had a special connection with God that was created primarily by her grandmother. At her early age of 11 she used to say to her friends, â€Å"Do you know why I am so particularly happy today? It is because I have Jesus in my heart!† 1 St. Alphonsa’s ministry focused on spreading the word of God. Throughout her life God helped her overcome challenges and guide her. Alphonsa was a teacher at Vakakkad for a very limited time due to her serious health issues. Alphonsa always had full faith in God and that can be seen b y her â€Å"charisma.† Her most notable act of charisma was at a very young age. Her aunt, Anna Murickal, wanted her to be a â€Å"perfect† housewife. In order to avoid a husband she placed her feet in a heap of burning embers to disfigure herself. She summed up the experience when she said, â€Å"My marriage was arranged when I was thirteen years old. What had I to do to avoid it? I prayed all that night... then an idea came to me. If my body were a little disfigured no one would want me! ... O,