Lec 20: Modern nation state; liberal, Marxist and feminist conceptions of state

Lec 20: Modern nation state; liberal, Marxist and feminist conceptions of state


Hello and welcome friends. This is the second lecture on the state and
sovereignty. And in this lecture, we will start with discussing
very briefly, about what is modern nation state? And then particularly, we will focus on the
three kinds or three major conceptualizations of modern state from liberal, Marxist and
feminist perspectives. So, we will discuss, the liberal, Marxist
and feminist conception of the state in the later part of this lecture. So, to begin with this modern state, as we
have discussed in our previous lecture is a modern development in terms of organizing
a political institution which is impersonal, that means, different from both the ruler
and the ruled. And this kind of political institution, in
terms of impersonal rule emerged only in the modern times. So, even, state as a political institution
may have existed before the modern times, but the nature of that state was very personal. So, for example, pre-modern state in India
can be referred to say Mughal state or Gupta’s state or Ashoka’s state and so on. So, we is see it the political authority or
the state with a particular dynasty with a particular ruler and so on. Only in the modern times, the state as an
institution exists distinct from both the ruler and the ruled. So, that is, the one thing which we have discussed
and this emerged in the Europe after the 30 years of religious war, especially, after
the Westphalia Treaty in 1648. And, sovereignty is one such defining characteristics
of state where, within its own territory, state is regarded as the supreme institution. So, this discussion of state, we have had
in our previous lecture. In today’s lecture, we will see, how this
state in its association with the idea of nation and nationalism, acquires a formidable
status or power and authority in a given society, and how the both connects? So, all the modern states, then is also regarded
as a nation-state. So, in modern times, every state is also considered
as a nation-state. So, Indian state is also Indian nation-state
or Pakistani state is also a Pakistani nation-state or Bangladeshi or so on and so forth. So, all the states in modern times, also a
nation-state and this first emerged in Europe and through colonialism and anti-colonial
struggles have spread in different parts of the world. So, the expansion of modern nation-state through
this colonialism and also, the struggle against this colonialism. So, in the most part of Asia, Africa and Latin
America, the state emerged and the nationalism that evolved is the result of the anti-colonial
struggle, also. Now, the relationship between the state and
nation, we can see as I have said that state is an impersonal body. It is a kind of institution, which is distinct
form ruler and ruled, but nation is a very subjective idea. That means, people emotionally, in their psychological
state believes or imagine themselves as part of something, or a nation or a territory. Now, this rational, abstract, impersonal nature
of state and a very subjective psychological and emotional stage of nation or nationalism
is something, which comes together to give the state the powerful and formidable authority
that it enjoys in a society, in a particular territory. So, what we see, is state is a rational and
abstract entity. So, as I said that state as an institution
is something which is rational, impersonal and also abstract. That means, the both ruler and the ruled is
subject to this abstract entity which we call state. And we have also made a distinction between
state and the government. So, government may come and go we may vote
certain party to power, to form a government. And we can also, vote them out. But the state as an institution is a kind
of abstract entity which continues to remain, continues to function even when government
comes to and go periodically. So, state is then, a rational and abstract
entity or political institution, whereas nation is more about individual subjective association
with a particular state. So, it is a very kind of personal, psychological
and emotional association, subjective association with a particular territory or institution. So, as we have discussed in the previous lecture,
there is a degree of impersonality and abstraction with the state. But the nation, on the other hand is something,
which is rooted in the psychological and the cultural roots of the people. So, the national becomes, then a kind of legitimizing,
a kind of enabling power or enabling entity for the state. And the power of the state, in modern times
is also, associated with this idea of nation, nationalism which makes the existence of state
very personal, very subjective. So, the power of this idea of nation is so,
over powering that people is more willing, to get killed for this idea of nation of or
protecting their nation, from say, external aggression from any kind of encroachment. So, people are willingly, to die for that
country or that nation, then to get killed. And their dying for that land or that territory
or nation is something, which is celebrated. Now, from here, comes the authority or power
of this idea of nation, where people are willing to get killed for protecting the nation or
defending the nation, then killing the other person. So, the roots of the power and authority of
this idea comes from the psychological and cultural roots or the subjective association
of people with a particular nationhood. So, there are lots of definitions and arguments
about nation and nationalism, which we are not going to discuss for our purpose. The objective is to understand, how state
as an impersonal, abstract entity get intertwined with the idea of nation and nationalism. And in modern times, therefore, all the nations,
all the states is regarded as a national state, where the characteristic of a nation and a
state logical speaking differs from each other, where one is abstract, rational, impersonal,
the other is more subjective psychological and emotional. So, nation and nationalism, although, very
briefly, is a modern phenomenon and historically, it also emerge in Europe, especially, in the
context of industrialism industrialization or print capitalism and extended from there
in different parts of the world. And there have been different waves of nationalism. So, first in Europe, you have civic or ethnic
nationalism in the context of France and Germany, we often make this distinction. Then, there was the rise of Eastern Europe
and their assertion for self-determination and Latin America and then, later the anti-colonial
struggle in the Asia and Africa is the reflection of different waves of nationalism in modern
times, which historically, emerged in the Europe. Nationalism, also has a kind inclusive and
exclusive phenomenon. That means, within a territory, everyone that
resides is part of that nation, but it is also something, which excludes those who are
not part of that territory. So, the territory as for the state, so, is
for the nation becomes a crucial determining factor for the constitution of the nation
or the imagination of the nation and it has created a lot of tensions, conflicts, wars
and completions in the… .
So, the modern historical or contemporary development in different parts, we have seen
tensions or escalations on the borders between two countries, in the name of protecting the
territory or the border of a sovereign nation-state. So, First World War, Second World War or the
Cold War and so on and so forth, in different parts of the world is the result of that disputes,
which often, comes from the border or protecting the border of a nation-state. So, this idea of nation and nationalism which
is a modern idea emerged simultaneously, with industrialization or print capitalism, gives
a kind of subjective existence of the state. So, state which is impersonal, detached, abstract
entity and its combination with the nation or nationalism, people psychologically, emotionally,
associate themselves with the political organization in a particular territory. So, it remains one of the most powerful and
legitimizing entity in modern world. And there are numerous communities still fighting
for the creation of their own nations. So, in many parts of even a sovereign nation
state, you may find many communities, many groups, still fighting for creating their
own nations. So, this idea and the willing sacrifice for
realizing this idea, still motivates or inspires a number of communities in different parts
of the world. And therefore, by having one’s own nation
is also, equal to having one’s own identities as independent or sovereign without any subjugation
from the external authority. So, say, when we were fighting the British. The inspiring idea of or motivation for fighting
the British was to have one’s own nation and opportunity, to express one’s opinion
independent of any external control or regulation. So, this assertion or the idea of having independent
voice, without any subjugation of external authority is something, which continues to
motivates, many communities and groups in different parts of the world. It is also, equal to assertion of one’s
own independent identity. So, the power and legitimacy of modern state
becomes formidable after its association with nation and nationalism. Although, the characteristics definition of
nation and state differ from each other, yet the coming together of both gives the state
enormous power and authority in a particular territory. So, all states in modern times, is also, therefore,
regarded as a nation-state and that gives it a kind of formidable status. Now, to look at briefly, the three major conceptualizations
of a state, we will begin with this liberal idea of state and liberal conceptualization
of state. So, we will discuss a broader understanding
of a the liberal state and within liberalism, you have different strands of liberalism,
starting from liberal conservatism, to liberal egalitarianism, to a kind of welfare oriented
liberalism and so on, and strong libertarianism or multi- culturalism, also. But we are particularly, focusing on the broader
conceptualization or collective theorization among the liberals about the modern state. So, in liberal conceptualization of state,
we find that the focus in this whole philosophy of liberalism is based on the idea of individual,
who is rational agent and capable of making decisions, that governs his or her life. Now, the whole liberal philosophy is based
on this idea of individual being rational, capable of taking decisions that governs his
life. And state, society or any other institutions
have no business in interfering, in the matters that is concerning the individual. Then why there is a need of state? The need of state is to ensure that the individual
exercise maximum freedom or there is no threat to his life or property. So, in liberal philosophy, broadly speaking,
the idea is to ensure that individual rights are not violated. So, state is there to protect certain rights
of the individuals and second that individual gets the opportunity to exercise his freedom
without any coercion, without any interference, either from the state or from any other entity
in the society. So, state in the liberal philosophy is given
a very minimal role of maintaining law and order and ensuring that individuals should
get the condition, to exercise his or her freedom, more freely, without any coercion
and interference. So, that is the kind of overall kind of basic
argument in the liberal conceptualization of state. So, first, it focuses on individual rights
and freedom, that is absolute, it must not be, interfere with it, must not be, coerced
or constraint. It also, argues a neutral, that is, a very
crucial thing and minimal state. Minimal state in terms of its role, what is
should be the role of state? Should it be a nanny state as in the welfare
state, as we have talked about, that it should take care of the vulnerable society, weaker
sections in the society or those who are dependent, state should have a role to do that or a state
should provide certain services like, health, medicine, education and so on. Now, in the liberal philosophy, the idea of
state and its role is very minimal state should have a very minimum role of maintaining law
and order. So, the raison deta or the very reason for
the existence of modern state is to maintain law and order. That is their prime minimum responsibility. Now, often, we see many states involving in
different activities, even in say industrialization of society or providing education or medical
care or so on, and other kinds of welfare programmes. But, in the liberal understanding, the state
has a very minimal role. The other feature of state is neutral. This comes from the impersonal nature of the
rule. So, state must not take sides, state must
not be that or form policy on behalf of a particular group in the society. So, state as an institution is a neutral entity
in the society. So, it is not something, which takes side,
when society and its groups are competing with each other. State must maintain a neutral status from
the competitive groups in the society. So, this conceptualization of state, replaces
the divine right theory of the state which justifies the existence of the state in the
name of divine right. So, the king and his rule is legitimate, because
the king is the representative of god on the earth. So, the very legitimacy, why you should obey
the king is based on the idea that he is the representative of god on the earth and therefore,
you must obey the king. Now, this understanding of divine right of
state is replaced by this idea that only, that form of state is legitimate that is based
on the consent of the people. So, in liberal understanding, the legitimacy
of the state is not because it maintains something, or it does something, it has some other basis
of its existence. The legitimacy of state in liberal philosophy
is based on the idea, that it is based, on the consent of the people. So, the consent, of the people or those who
are ruled. So, the legitimacy of the modern, liberal
state comes from the consent. So, that is why, in most of the democratic
liberal society, you have free and fair elections, periodically. That free and fair election periodically,
gives the mandate or the consent to a particular party to the form government or to rule the
people. So, this idea of rule based on consent of
the people, becomes the legitimizing idea for the government and not the divine right
theory, and on other functions, that a government or state performs. So, state, then works for the common good
of the society and not the good of any particular groups. So, state, work for the common good of the
society and its major activities understood as maintaining law and order. So, law and order is the condition. So, suppose, if there is no law and order,
there is anarchy, there is chaos. And if, there is anarchy and chaos, every
one’s life and property is at stake. And if, the property and life is at stake,
then there cannot be any progress, there cannot be any development, nobody will trust and
abide by the contract, if it is against his or her own interests. So, maintaining law and order is the minimum
or the most crucial role of the modern state. And ensuring, everyone is treated with equality
without any discrimination. So, this feature of modern state is also,
very modern liberal state is crucial that it treats, everyone in the society equally. So, in most of modern liberal, democratic
state, you get this idea that one man, one vote, one vote, one value; that means, it
does not discriminate its citizen, on the basis of either property or education or his
or her status in the society and its hierarchy. So, in caste, say caste ridden hierarchical
society in India. In social arena, people are discussing. So, legally speaking, it is illegal, yet in
the social structure of our society, people may have different status, but politically,
and legally, a Dalit or the upper caste or a prime minister or a rickshaw puller, they
all have one vote and value of one vote is one. So, that is the kind of equality. And, the whole legal enterprise of or legal
structure of modern state is based on this idea, that it treats all of its citizens equally,
without any discrimination and that comes from the impersonal or the neutral status
of a state. So, in other words, a liberal state regards
individual as moral and rational agent. And states role is seen as providing them
the conducive conditions for the growth and prosperity. So, the role of a state is not really, to
involve in industry to work for development and so on. In liberal idea, the ideal state is that state
which provide law and order and ensure the condition, where individual can exercise his
freedom, that will led to the growth and prosperity in the society. So, the origin and the growth of liberal state
can be traced back to the political struggles that took place in England and France with
the rise and growth of capitalism which lead to free market economy. So, in modern times, in Europe, there was
a growth of mercantile capitalism under the absolutist monarchy. Now, these mercantile capitalist wanted the
monarch to provide them certain security and with that security, they conducted trade and
business in faraway places. Now, gradually, there is a rise of middle
class in the society and that middle class gradually, demanded more and more rights,
more and more accountability, more and more transparency from the government. And, that lead to a new kind of discourse
about political authority in the society which leads through a constitutional, representative
form of government. So, this idea of liberal state emerged in
England and France. These struggles focused on first, individual
dignity, self-interests, private property and power and status particular of the emerging
middle class in the society. So, all these things, what matters in life
is the dignity. It must be recognized and respected by the
state and others. Their property, what moves the individual
is the interest, self-interest or acquiring wealth and state must give them protection,
to live the life with dignity, to conduct trade or business without any coercion without
any threat and so on. So, this coming of liberal state there were
significant changes occurring in the political organization of the society, like you have
the representative government or representative form of government or the constitutional form
of government. So, the government, unlike a monarchy is not
free to do anything, that it wishes to do. The government must functions within a parameter
and that parameter is set by constitution and rule of law. So, in a democracy, when a ruler is elected
that ruler is not free, like the monarch to do anything that he or she wishes to do. Ruler must functions within the rule of law
or what is the constitution of that country. So, this idea of a representative form of
government, that government is only legitimate, if it represents the will of the people or
if it is has the consent of the people. So, once they are elected, they must function
within it as set parameters that is set by the constitution or rule of law. So, ruler and ruled are both governed by a
particular set of parameters, that is the constitution and rule of law. So, the government based on the consent of
the rules, these are some of the new ways of organizing the political, institution or
authority ion the society, which leads to creation of a modern, liberal, democratic
state. So, it is traced on a new discourse on rights
to uphold the natural rights and basic rights of humans like right to life, property, freedom,
justice and so on. So, these are the rights which state is supposed
to protect for the individual. Adam Smith, a liberal thinker emphasized on
the individual urge to maximize economic interest or to achieve material gains and thereby,
to improve their leaving standards or fortunes. So, the motivation for the individual is to
work or to take decisions, which is economic or material governing his or her life. Now, Smith, argued that if, a state provides
the conditions of freedom to individuals, to take material and moral decisions concerning
his/ her life, the resulting society would be a free and prosperous society. So, why we need a free society? Because free society ensures or provide the
conditions to the individual to take decisions which is material or moral that governs his
or her life. So, that society which is free and provides
the condition for taking decisions about the material and the moral matters to the individual
will be a prosperous society. So, the whole justification of free market
economy or free society is based on the idea, that if a society and economy give freedom
to its individual, the resulting society would be a more prosperous and free society. So, he talks about a free market economy and
less interference by the state in the functioning of that free market economy. So, Adam Smith’s, the Wealth of Nations,
argues about a society or creating a society, and state which will have no interference
or less interference in the matters that effect the moral and material life of the individual. In other words, the individual should be left
free to take moral and material decisions concerning his or her life. And if that is the condition, then the resulting
society would be a more a prosperous and wealthy society. So, for liberals in generals therefore, they
also, most of the liberal thinkers or philosophers, they will argue for the protection of a free
market economy. And commerce and trade in their assessment
would create a good and welfare oriented government in the society which will work for the benefit
of all, without taking the side without being prejudiced or biased against a particular
community or groups of individual. So, commerce and trade is conducive for a
good and welfare oriented government, according to the liberals. Now, for liberals, then the role of state
is to carry out a legal frame work under which market can function well. So, the market, here, means the idea of free
market. So, there should not be any regulation or
interference in the functioning of market, because it is understood in liberal philosophy
that market has its own laws of which we call, says law of demand and supply. So, demand and supply is guided by the demand,
if demand is high and supply is low, price will be high and vice versa, if demand is
less and supply is more, the price will be less. So, market, in this assessment has its own
logic or its own self regulating mechanisms which we call invisible hand of market. Now, the state, in this kind of economy, must
refrain from interfering or regulating the functioning of market. The idea is to ensure that the contract is
followed by the party involved in that contract. So, the state has a very minimal role to create
a legal framework under which market can function well without interfering, without regulating
the market. So, market should be left free, but its operation
should be under a legal framework, where the contract or the party involved in the contract
must abide by the terms of that contract and if, they do not, there is the state to arbitrate. So, that is the role of state in regulating,
in supervising the functioning of market, without any interference without any direct
control. So, and it should also maximize the opportunities
and prosperity for everyone. And state should does focus for adjudicative
or the legal roles. So, liberal argues that citizen have the right
to overthrow government. So, in liberal idea that overthrowing the
government is the right of the citizens, if the government fails to fulfill the desired
roles and functions such as creating conditions for human happiness and well-being. Suppose, if a government fails to maintain
law and order. So, citizens have every right to throw that
government out in the next election. So, in all liberal democratic states, elections
are held periodically, in 4 years, 5 years or 6 years and the citizens have the right
to throw the government, if that government do not perform to their satisfaction for their
benefits or happiness or wellbeing. So, in conclusion, we will find that liberals
wanted to ensure maximum freedom to individuals and therefore, regard the state as necessary
evil. So, it is a kind of limit or it restrains,
the individual and his freedom, but this restrain and limit to individual freedom is regarded
as necessary evil, because state ultimately, provides the condition or ensure law and order
which helps or which provides the conducive, condition for the individual to grow, to develop,
to innovate or to exercise his freedom. So, the idea is have or to ensure maximum
freedom to individual and yet state is seen as a kind of necessary evil. As for them, without a legal authority in
the form of state, individuals lives and property will be under constant threat. And if the lives and property of the individual
is under constant threat, that would be detrimental to peace, progress and prosperity of the society. And therefore, you need a state, even if,
it is evil, even if, it limits or restrains your activities. Thus, the state in liberal framework should
perform the minimum role of maintaining law and order, and enforcing contract. It will lead to overall progress of individuals
and society as well. So, that is the conception of a liberal state. Now, moving on, to the Marxist conception
of a state which is in contrast to the liberal idea of a state, where a state is not seen
as impersonal or neutral. Infact, Marxist argument is that state is
a kind of or a tool of exploitation in the hands of one class against the other. So, they focused on the class nature of the
modern state. So, modern state, in contrast to the liberal
conception of a state, according to Marxist is not a neutral state, not a impersonal state. Infact, state functions on behalf of a particular
class to protect their interests against the interests of the majority. So, Marxist, focused on the class nature of
modern state and in their conceptualization, state is seen as an instrument of exploitation
in the hands of one class against the other. So, the Marx’s idea on state was put forward
as a counter idea to Hegel’s notion of state. So, we will discuss, this Hegelian notion
of state. For Hegel, as we have discussed in our previous
lecture also, that state is seen as a kind of ‘March of god on the earth’. So, the ethical life, a realization of ethical
life according to Hegel, is possible only in a state. So, Marx was not supportive of this Hegelian
idea of a state, which is guided by universal will. So, we will discuss, this idea what is this
universal will? So, let us say, there is a particular will,
then there is the selfish. So, there is three status that we will discuss,
the universal will, when individual functions and operates on the will or on the idea that
their action is for the benefit of all and not for their own self or the interest of
their own groups or community. So, when individual action is governed by
the universal will, that means, the benefit of the whole humanity, the whole people, that
ensures the realization of ethical, moral life in the state. Marx, questions this idea of universal will
and the state functioning for the benefit of all. Marx’s thought of state as an institution
that serves the dominant capitalist class which he explains in Communist Manifesto. Now, coming back, to these three ideas or
three stages, Hegel, argued about these three different spaces or stages or levels of social
existence or individual growth. That starts from family, civil society and
state. Now, in family, we are all willing to sacrifice
for the members of other family. So, we are guided by a kind of altruistic
will, where we want to sacrifice ourself for the sake of other members of our family. That a kind of very limited, but yet altruistic
sphere of individual life. Then, there is a life in civil society, where
we are guided by the particular or the selfish interests. So, we act in civil society to maximize our
own selfish interests. And finally, the state is the representative
of universal will, where we are guided by the idea of benefitting all and not merely,
our own self or our own groups or communities. So, in Hegelian idea of progression, these
three stages is necessary, to realize a moral and ethical life and to enhance or realize
one’s freedom. But Marx, never saw such a scope for individuals
ethical development under state. Rather, he says that individual freedom is
curtailed under a capitalist state, because it functions on behalf of on behest of a particular
class and their interests. So, Marx, focused on the coercive and the
authoritarian nature of capitalist state. And for him, state brought division of society
into two different classes, on the basis of their ownership of wealth and power. So, usually, in Marxist analysis, society
is divided between those who own the means of production. And therefore, bourgeoisie and those whose
very survival is dependent on working or they do not own the means of production, and they
are the majority or proletariat. So, this division of society in a capitalist
economy lead Marx to argue in Communist Manifesto, that the modern or the exact line is that
the executive of the modern state is, but a committee for managing the common affairs
of the whole bourgeoisie. So, the state is seen as an instrument in
the hands of those who owns the means of production. And state always, protects and promotes the
interests of that class against the interests of the proletariat. So, that is, one view, on state in Marx which
is also matured and which comes later in Communist Manifesto. But, in Marx, there is also, one or second
view of state which is in the Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, where he talked about
a kind of relative autonomy of the state. So, in the social classes, state manages to
impose its will on all the classes in the society. So, state, in that kind of society, may appear
a bit autonomous from the classes. So, in communist manifesto, we have seen,
that state is controlled by the classes, which own the means of production, that is bourgeoisies. Here, in the Eighteenth Brumaire, we see the
explanation of state as relatively autonomous state, which is free or autonomous from the
control of any classes in the society. And, it has the capacity or capability to
impose its will, but this capacity or ability to impose its will is not absolute and in
the long run, state continues to protect and promote the interests of the bourgeoisie. Thus, Marx, argued that a class divided society
state cannot promote the interests of all. He believed that a capitalist state can be
overthrown, therefore, by a revolution by the proletariat or working class. The capitalist state would then, be replaced
by what you call socialist state under the dictatorship of proletariat, which would eventually,
lead to a classless and stateless society. So, that is the overall vision and objective
of creating a society, which will not be divided into propertied or those who do not own the
property have or haves not or bourgeoisie or the proletariat. So, that would be a kind of classless society,
which will no longer need a state to govern itself. Now, the third and the final conceptualization
of state, for today’s lecture is the feminist concept of a state which focuses on this claim
of a state to be a neutral institution. So, feminism, questions the neutrality of
the state, which is blind to the gender based discriminations, women’s conditions in the
public and private spheres, the political rights, equal distribution of resources, rights
to equality with men and so on. So, state, in its claim to neutrality, according
to feminists, are blind to the gender discriminations or the unequal distributions of resources
or unequal access to the services in public and private spheres of social life. So, feminists, questions the state neutrality,
which perpetuates, which do not resolve this discrimination on the basis of gender in the
society or in the public sphere. So, feminists, are interested in analyzing
the state’s role or its interventions in dealing with women’s issues and concerns
like gender discrimination in society. Now, we have discussed in one of our lectures,
on power or the feminist conception of power within feminism, there are different opinions. So, starting from liberal to a Marxist, to
a radical feminism, you see a range of debates and discussions about creating a just society,
which would be gender just as well. So, there is a kind of multiple voices within
feminism, radical feminism most crucially, argued about not just the questioning the
neutrality of the state and demanding equal respect or equal legal and political rights. But it characterizes the state as a patriarchal
state, where the dominance of male is extended from family to the society, to the state and
all the decisions or the policies are framed or the positions are held only, by the male
and there is this question of preferential or the reservation for women and so on. They are against the class exploitations and
in equalities existing in a liberal state. So, they believed discrimination and inequality
or disparity between men and women lies in family. So, that is the source of a patriarchal state,
which radical feminist, argued about and particularly, in the organization or structure of labor
within family which extends in the outer world of society and state as well. So, the extension of gender discrimination
that exists in the family is extended in the sphere of society or state as well. So, feminism, characterizes state as biased
in terms of administrative structures or organs or institutions of governance, which reflects
the hierarchy that exists in society and gender relationship in public arena. So, the state is regarded or characterized,
as biased in terms of its administrative structure, organs and system of governance which reflects
the hierarchy that exists in society and gender relationship in public arena. So, they view men or male as taking over offices
or recruitment in government jobs, where men’s dominance is prevailing and their decisions
and interests determining, how power is exercised through different organs or institutional
state. So, most feminists believe that genders subordination
is true for all classes, all societies, all households and more precisely, it is prevalent
across economic classes in the world. Now, feminists are also, very critical against
the liberal state and its dichotomy of public and private sphere. So, the basis of a liberal state is this distinction
between private and the public. Now, private space is regarded as the space,
where must not form law and individual should have maximum freedom. Only, the matters concerning the public, state
can legally, regulate and limits certain activities of the individual, that is related to the
public life. So, state as an institution is about maintaining,
regulating or ensuring law and order in the public life. So, the organization of polity rests on this
dichotomy between public and the private life, where individual enjoys maximum freedom in
his private life, but his public life can be regulated or restrained on reasonable grounds
by the state. Now, feminists, questions this dichotomy between
public and the private, and assert the personal is political. So, in this liberal dichotomy, family is seen
as something, as the matter of private. And therefore, state should not interfere
into that. Now, feminists question this dichotomy and
argue that family as an institution is where the discrimination between man and women is
practiced, perpetuated and reproduced. And that perpetuation, practice and reproduction
of gender discrimination in the family, extended in the realm of society and state. And therefore, we cannot keep the family outside
the realm of political. So, even, the emotions feelings, love and
a lot of other feelings, which is regarded as personal or the private matter is questioned
by the feminists and they assert that ‘personal is political’. So, this understanding of political, where
the personal or the private is also seen as part of political radically, alter the understanding
of politics and the roles of state. And state policies, according to feminism,
which believes in this dichotomy of public and private, fails to resolve issues like
domestic violence, less income for working women, unequal responsibilities of women at
home, that limits their activities outside. So, therefore, feminists are demanding certain
rights, such as reproductive rights, abortion rights, subsides for birth control and so
on. So, in other words, feminism brings gender
at the center of discourse on the politics and state, and strives towards creating a
society, which is just or family, society and state which is gender just society. So, the idea or the realization of liberty,
equality and justice is not possible, unless the gender justice is also ensured and that
is the contribution of feminism towards understanding of politics and state. And its role in creating a society, which
is not just legally, and politically, just for half of the population, that is only for
male, but also, it includes and ensures the participation and empowerment of female or
women. So, with this, we conclude this lecture, where
we have discussed the idea of modern nation-state and how these two seemingly, opposite kinds
of institution or entity, comes together to acquire a formidable status in a particular
society or territory. And then, we discuss the liberal, Marxist
and the feminist conceptions of state. So, on these lectures or these themes, you
can focus on some of these readings like, on Rajeev Bhargav, Martin Conroy, John Hoffman
and Paul Graham, and Rhode Deborah on the feminism and state. So, these are the readings for today’s lecture. Thanks for listening. Thank you all.

1 Comment

  1. Sundar Rajan B says:

    could you please explain neo liberalism and colonialism

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