IR introduction: nation state


Nation is an aggregation of person of the same ethnic family, often speaking the same language or cognate languages. It’s culturally homogenous group of people, larger than a single tribe or community who share a common language, institution, religion, and historical experience.

State is the condition of matter with respect to structure, form, constitution, phase, or the like. State can be used interchangeably with the country. For example: France, Egypt, Germany, Japan, and New Zealand. When nation of people have a State or country of their own, it’s called a nation-state.

Nation-state is a sovereign state inhabited by a relatively homogenous group of people who share a feeling of common nationality. In the other hand, state-nation is a sovereign state inhabited by extremely heterogeneous groups of people who share a feeling of common nationality too.

Ethnicity is all about to ethnic traits, background, allegiance or association. Ethnic is belonging to or deriving from the cultural, racial, religious, or linguistic tradition of a people or country.

This is some of definition of state or we used to called independent country:

  1. Has a space which has internationally recognized boundaries or the boundary disputes are OK.
  2. Have people live there.
  3. Has economic activity and it’s organized.
  4. Has the power of social engineering, such as education.
  5. Has the transportation system
  6. Has a government.
  7. Has external recognition. A country has been ‘voted into club’ by the other.


Peace of Westphalia refers to the two treaty of Osnabruck and Munster, signed on May 15 and October 24 of 1648 respectively which ended both the ‘Thirty Years War’ in Germany and ‘Eighty Years War’ between Spain and Netherlands. The treaties involved the holy Roman Emperor, Ferdinand III (Habsburg), the kingdoms of Spain, France, and Sweden, the Dutch Republic and their respective allies among the prince of Holy Roman Empire.

The Peace of Westphalia resulted from the first modern diplomatic congress and initiated a new order in central Europe based on concept of state sovereignty. Until 1806, the regulations became part of the constitutional laws of the Holy Roman Empire. This rectification allowed the rules of the German state to independently decide their religious worship. Protestants and Catholics were redefined as equal before the law and Calvinism was given legal recognition.


Nationalism is an ideology, a sentiment, a form of culture or a social movement focuses on nation. Self-determination is defined as free choice of one’s own acts without external compulsion, and especially as the freedom of the people of a given territory to determine their own political status or independence from their current state. Meanwhile, decolonization is to release or to allow a colony from the status of colony to become self-determination governing or independent.


NI is a country’s goals and ambitions whether economic, military or culture. National Interest of state is multifaceted. It’s used generally in two sense in IR: as an analytical tool indentifying the goals or objectives of foreign policy and as an all-embracing concept of political discourse used specifically to justify particular policy preferences.

SOURCES: (akses tahun 2008)

Evan, Graham & Newnham, Jeffrey. 1998. Dictionary of International Relations. London: Penguin Books


About Devania Annesya

Devania Annesya, born in 1989 email us at

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