Nation-Building and Citizenship examines how states and civil societies interact in their formation of a new political community. Reinhard Bendix directs our attention to relations established between individual and state during nation-building. While the development of citizenship and the interplay between tradition and modernity are important in this process of social and political change, his key theme is the examination of authority patterns.
Bendix explores in depth the possibilities of an alternative approach to the neo-evolutionary orientation many social scientists take in their analyses of the underdeveloped areas of the world. The subjects he discusses include transformations of Western European societies since medieval times, extension of citizenship to the lower classes, bureaucratization in the nation-state, private and public authority in Western Europe and Russia, aristocracies and development in Germany and Japan, and the development of public authority in India's political community. The book concludes with a reconsideration of ideas widely held about tradition, modernity, and modernization.
In a new introduction, John Bendix writes that what continues to make this book relevant is not only what it can tell us about past and present nation-building, including the transformations of the 1980s and 1990s, but its more general messages about the nature of social and political transformations. Nation-Building and Citizenship is a necessary addition to the libraries of political scientists, sociologists, historians, and scholars of comparative studies.