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183 Seiten, Note: very good
Preface and Acknowledgements
1. A Theoretical Framework of Political Integration
1.1. Nations, Nationbuilding and National Integration
1.2. Regional Integration: Functionalism, Neofuntionalism and Intergovernmentalism
1.3. International Integration
2. Historical Background
2.1. The National Integration of India
2.1.1. Geographical, Historical and Cultural Determinants of the Subcontinent
2.1.2. Nationalism and Freedom Movement
2.1.3. Resisting India- the Mizoram Experience
2.2. The Project of Europe
2.2.1. From the Treaty of Westphalia to the Modern European Nation- State
3. Structures of Integration- Federalism
3.1. The Transformation of Indian Federalism
3.2. Regionalism in India
3.2.1. Tamil Nadu
3.3. Europe- Union, Federation or Confederacy?
4. Policies of Integration
4.1.1. Theories of Multiculturalism
4.1.2. Multiculturalism in India- Constitutional Provisions and Practical Application
184.108.40.206. Hindu Cultural Nationalism and the Quest for a Uniform Civil Code
4.1.3. Multiculturalism in the European Union
4.2.1. Western and Eastern Traditions of Secularism
4.2.2. The Secularism Debate in India
4.2.3. The Resurgence of an Occidental Christian Identity - the Case of Turkey’s Admission into the European Union
The idea for this thesis originated in the desire to combine the knowledge and experiences I have gained during my two- year stay in Thiruvananthapuram and during the MA course in Political Science at the University of Kerala with my own European perspective.
These past two years have been extraordinarily valuable in many ways and Kerala has become a second home to me. Among the many insights I have been fortunate to be provided the realisation stands out that all that is really required for mankind to develop a greater sense of unity in our amazing and wonderful, but sometimes also frightening diversity is respect, an open mind and the willingness to listen and learn. We may not always understand and we may not always like what we are confronted with, but before we arrive at premature conclusions we should critically reflect about our own ideas, assumptions and life- styles. There is no objective universal standard other than that all of us want to live in peace and happiness, be respected for who and what we are, be valued for our strengths and loved for our weaknesses, be accepted despite our limitations. All of us depend on the same sun for our energy, and on the same beautiful planet that is our home, the only one we have and which me must protect, preserve and honour; and all of us look up to the same stars wondering what might be out there and what the purpose of our existence truly is, and we may realise that the sense of loneliness that sometimes captures us originates in the endlessness of space where the human race will have to meet its destiny, and we will have to meet it unified in our diversity.
I would like to express my deep respect and gratitude for my mother without whose continuous support and patience I would have lost my way a long time ago. I am also sincerely appreciative of the support of the German Academic Exchange Service that has made my time in India so much easier, and especially of the council and help offered by my two contacts at the DAAD- Frau Gabler and Frau Sternemann.
Professor Dr. G. Gopakumar has not only supervised the progress of this thesis, provided much- needed advice and background knowledge, he has also acted as a guide throughout my time in India, and I am extremely grateful for all of that. I would also like to mention at this point that Prof. Gopakumar runs the in my opinion best department at the University of Kerala. The spirit of collegiality among the faculty sets both the standard and an example for the students, for the time of their studies but even more importantly for their future lives. Countless national seminars, workshops and social activities have been additional valuable sources of knowledge and have thus greatly supplemented the contents of the classes.
I would like to thank all members of the faculty I had the privilege to gain tremendous knowledge, insights and experiences from. I would also like to extend my gratitude to the library staff members who have always been helpful and flexible. The office staff has constantly ensured that I was spared the experience of the infamous Indian bureaucracy.
The M.phil, PhD, and Research students were eager to offer advice if needed. Finally I would like to thank my fellow students who have been great friends and who have made my time in Kerala an unforgettable, unique and extraordinary experience.
In the future, the years 2008 and 2009 are likely going to be remembered for the global economic crisis. This crisis has so far pushed hundreds of millions back into poverty, it has destroyed countless jobs, lives, and hopes, but the worst may be yet to come. Although the economic downturn has captured the headlines, other and potentially more devastating crises are lurking in its shadow: the economic crisis that began with the collapse of the financial markets had been directly preceded by the oil- price and the food crises. Furthermore, environmental degradation, global warming, and all the developments related to these issues such as social or cultural displacement processes, large- scale migration etc. could possibly make the present time look like an age of harmony and stability in the future. Crisis may indeed become, or arguably already has, the dominant theme of everything somehow connected with the processes of globalisation.
To make it clear from the beginning, this paper is not about crises. It is about hope, chances, possibilities and, most importantly, opportunities. It is about the greatness of the human mind, but also about its weaknesses and limitations. It is about the grandeur of civilisation, but also about horror and despair, barbarism and cruelty. It is about ideas, philosophies and ideologies, about vision and reality. It is about accepting the fact that everything has two inseparable sides to it. It is, however, also about the belief that a reasoned and rational mind can triumph over its own irrationality and unreasonableness, at least in decisive situations, preferably whenever it chooses to do so.
Globalisation could truly unite mankind; it could usher in the civilisation of Planet Earth the unique feature of which could be its unity in diversity. But yet globalisation is perceived as a threat rather than an opportunity, as destructive rather than constructive. The reason for this is, I believe, that globalisation has not been adequately accompanied by integration, especially political integration. The outcome of the economic crisis will be more integration of the financial markets, i.e. there will be a regulatory framework. This may prevent another financial meltdown, but what about all the other crises? Furthermore, such a framework would only represent a reaction, initiated only after the damage had already been done. In the light of what might be ahead of us, however, foresighted action would be far more appropriate, and this requires political integration.
The purpose of this paper is not to discuss international political integration, but it is intended to show that international political integration is necessary, logical and consequential, that the outcome of such a process should be a world federation of some kind, and that the prospects for this are less unrealistic than one might think. However, political integration requires proportionate units. The dominant political unit of the current international system is the nation- state, and the nation- state is, I believe, an inappropriate unit for international integration. There is probably a number of reasons for this one could think of, but suffice it to say, the number of nation- states is simply too large. If this is true, international integration would have to be preceded by regional integration as politically integrated regions seem to be the appropriate units of an integrated world system.
Regional integration has in fact been the essential aspect of all historic political integration projects; the nation- state for example integrated smaller regions such as principalities, fiefdoms, municipalities or townships. The nation- state itself is now the unit for the probably most extensive possible form of regional integration, at least on Earth - the one that produces the units for international integration.
India and the European Union are both unique examples of regional integration. With regard to what has been written so far the relevance of European integration can hardly be denied as the European Union integrates classical modern nation- states and has furthermore already achieved an advanced stage of political institutionalisation. Thus, the notion that the European Union is a potential unit for future international integration does not require much imagination; it has already become a powerful and established international actor. But what about India? India represents a special case: it is a multi- nation nation- state, different from the classical nation- states in its diversity, but yet similar to them in its universal pretension and sole claim to political legitimacy. The Indian state also covers most of the distinctive geographical region South Asia.
South Asia is arguably among the least politically integrated regions worldwide, but this fact can largely be attributed to a few specific historical developments and to the asymmetric and unequal power relationship between South Asian countries. These circumstances certainly require a special approach, but in any case will India occupy the centre stage. Furthermore, it is probably fair to conclude that India could very well act by itself as an actor in an international system of regional actors, whereas the same cannot be said of any other country in South Asia.
The Indian project of integration is important for another reason. Regional integration requires units (nation- states) that are legitimate, coherent and stable, thus units that are themselves adequately politically integrated. This is obviously not the case in a substantial number of current states. These states have several important commonalities with India: they are culturally, linguistically, religiously and ethnically diverse, they were exposed to colonial exploitation, and they are developing countries. Thus, India’s example could be indicative of how integration can nevertheless be successful in difficult circumstances.
Aside from these considerations India and the European Union share a number of characteristics that make a comparison of them promising. Both the Indian and the European integration projects take place in distinctive geographical regions. The territorial scope of integration is comparable (EU: 4.2 Mio square kilometres; India: 3.2 Mio square kilometres) as is the number of integrated units (EU: 27 member states; India: 28 states+ 7 union territories). Those Indian states that have been formed on a linguistic basis are in some aspects quite similar to the European nation- states. Furthermore, both projects of integration have started shortly after World War II, both have experienced periods of stagnation or even regression since then, but both have not only survived but emerged stronger. Both projects had initially been characterised by strong and visionary leadership, and although original visions were replaced by pragmatism and realism, they have not been eliminated entirely but rather been postponed. Both have also been by and large elite projects in that the majority of the people had relatively little say in shaping them. Both projects have also in common that this latter fact needs to be changed.
Both India and the European Union are models of political integration. The term “model” has two connotations: (1) it describes a distinguishable set of characteristics, and (2) it contains a (usually positive) qualitative aspect, something that could/ should be followed or imitated. While in the case of India and the European Union the first connotation is rather obvious as two distinctive types of integration can be identified, this paper not only attempts to analyse these different types but also to verify whether the second connotation can be applied or not. As the hypothesis is that in both types elements of the other will be identifiable, the focus rests upon discovering certain patterns of integration while at the same time appreciating the differences.
Another starting point is the assumption that both India and the European Union have been relatively successful examples of integration so far, which does not mean that difficulties will be neglected in this paper. Thus, the aim is to establish whether India, the European Union, or both can be considered “role models” of integration, as well as to analyse common patterns which could provide a framework for integration.
The chosen methodology is that of a focused comparison based on secondary data. The first chapter attempts to provide an overview of political integration theories. Although this chapter is separated into sections on national, regional and international integration the main assumption is that at all levels political integration follows similar patterns. However, differences in the scope of integration necessitate different approaches that place more emphasis on one pattern than on another. Another theme encompasses the issue of identity: should political integration result in a new identity and if so, what should its relationship with older identities be like? Related to these questions is the notion of a community that may or may not be created through integration. Classical modern theories generally consider the emergence of both a new identity and a community in the course of political integration not only as a necessity, but as a logical result. The consequence was a certain disregard or even disrespect for more traditional identities and communities and an overall tendency towards homogenisation. Postmodern theories have challenged their modern predecessors on precisely these grounds, and the realities have undeniably supported their arguments. As a result it has become widely accepted now that cultural diversity has to be accommodated rather than amalgamated or even suppressed, but what are the implications of this for political integration and deliberate attempts to guide and facilitate it? Are such attempts futile, possibly dangerous or simply wasted time, or can the main tenet of modernism, the belief in the rational capacity of mankind to constructively shape its future, be salvaged?
India and the European Union may be the prime examples that this is possible. The second chapter discusses the historical backgrounds of both integration projects. In both cases there are strong elements supporting the logic of integration, but also significant divisions that made integration difficult. The fact that in both cases these divisions could be overcome without eliminating them entirely proves that as long as a certain logic for integration exists, problematic circumstances are little more than a cheap excuse.
Political integration in circumstances of diversity requires a structural framework and constant policies, and both elements have to accommodate this diversity. The structural framework needs to be elastic and flexible as it certainly will have to endure considerable strains. The preferred arrangement in this regard has come to be some form of federalism. The third chapter analyses the role federalism has played in the projects of integration of India and the European Union.
As integration is a process, policies are required that provide a general guideline but also intervene if necessary. Finding the correct policies of integration is obviously a daunting task, and not surprisingly then these policies are heavily contested and have undergone significant changes. The fourth chapter assesses these developments and the reasons behind them with respect to multiculturalism and secularism in India and the EU.
In the cases of India and the European Union political integration has been a deliberate and often even imposed attempt in order to accomplish certain goals. Thus, in this sense political integration can be seen as a “modern” approach as modernity’s underlying assumption is that humans are capable of progressively and positively shaping their own destiny based upon rationality and reason. This assumption has been severely compromised both by postmodern thinkers as well as by the often brute reality.
India and the European Union have, substantial difficulties, problems and sometimes questionable methods notwithstanding, proven so far that political integration as maybe one of the last modern projects can succeed in confronting and taming postmodern diversity. The story of their integration projects is therefore worth telling, for this story is real and exciting, and as it continues to be written outdistances the myths and fairy tales that have for too long lulled the people of this planet, and it manages to do so without sacrificing poetics and imagination.
Integration is a multidimensional concept: it is a natural phenomenon, because it frequently occurs in nature; it is a social phenomenon, because, beginning at the family level (arguably the first integrated social unit), it shapes all human social interaction; and it is a historical phenomenon because it is a process that has been prevalent throughout human history. Is it also a political phenomenon?
The answer to this question involves a distinction of two basic components of integration: planned and unplanned. Political integration in the context of this paper describes the planned component, i.e. deliberate policies to guide and/ or facilitate integration. In this light, political integration should not be conceived as a phenomenon but rather as an occurrence. However, political integration may involve unplanned components such as the death of a leader or an act of external aggression, as well.
Is there a way to assess the multidimensional character of integration? In fact, the systems approach offers a reasonable solution.
The human body presents a prime example of an integrated natural system. At this point, the question of whether the human body system is the result of a silly freak of Mother Nature or the product of divine creation is irrelevant, but it should be noted that it also refers to the planned/ unplanned distinction. In any case, the human body provides us with some insights into what constitutes a system: it consists of parts or subsystems (such as the blood circuit) that are all in an interdependent relationship and often have a specific purpose. However, by integrating these subsystems into the human body, these purposes serve a higher end. Integration is therefore a process that enables the subsystems to realise their full potential and capacity, because it links them together into a new, qualitatively different entity. A fully integrated system would then be one that outweighs the sum of its components.
There are, of course, more sophisticated approaches to systems. “The idea of systems analysis”, Johari writes, “has been taken over from biology and adopted by certain social scientists to the study of their subject matter so that it assumes the form of an empirical investigation.”
The applicability of the systems approach in social sciences has been justified by Robert Dahl as follows: “Any collection of elements that interact in some way with another can be considered a system: a galaxy, a football team, a legislature, a political party.” Furthermore, any system has certain characteristics: it consists of identifiable parts, and their interaction “affects [them] in regular and discernable ways.”
A system has boundaries beyond which lies the system’s environment. Depending on the interaction among the system and its environment it is possible to differentiate between open and closed systems.
Talcott Parsons attempted to discover the properties a system needs to have if it is to prevail. According to him, these include: 1) pattern maintenance, 2) adaptation (to the environment), 3) goal attainment (so that the system has a purpose), and 4) integration.
This general outline of a social system was modified by political scientists such as David Easton in order to assess a political system. A political system is a subsystem of society, and it is distinct from other subsystems in that it is “the most inclusive system of behaviour in a society for the authoritative allocation of values.” Easton was particularly concerned with the stability of a political system that can be threatened by changes in either the external or internal environment. His “dynamic response model of a political system” describes, albeit quite abstractly, the “reciprocity of the relationship between the system and its environments”: inputs from both environments are converted into outputs (authoritative allocations of values) by the political system that will in return have repercussions on the environments and thus shape future inputs. This “feedback- loop” is essential for the stability of the political system: if it malfunctions, the result may be inputs that consist of demands rather than support, thus creating the possibility of a demand overload.
Although Easton provided some indications how change could occur in a system, the systems approach is generally criticised for its emphasis on system maintenance or equilibrium. Since a complete system failure or collapse should be avoided, change was supposed to take place only gradually. However, it is one of the purposes of this paper to show that the system property of integration provides more than adequate opportunities for a system change.
Another way to approach political integration is to compare it to the concept of power in politics. According to Karl W. Deutsch, political integration is a “relationship in which the behaviour of…political actors, units, or components is modified from what it otherwise would be.” The same definition describes the notion of power. Furthermore, integration and power can both be assessed in terms of their domain, scope and range. The domain of both integration and power encompasses all people affected by them; the scope of integration and power describes the magnitude of their effect, i.e. how much the behaviour of the actors is altered; and the range of integration and power is the difference between the highest possible reward and the most severe deprivation either integration or power can offer or induce respectively.
Both the systems and power approach to political integration may not provide a sufficient framework, but at the very least they do represent an adequate starting point.
“…a nation is a great solid unit, formed by the realization of sacrifices in the past, as well as of those one is prepared to make in the future. A nation implies a past; while, as regards the present, it is all contained in one tangible fact, viz., the agreement and clearly expressed desire to continue a life in common. The existence of a nation is a daily plebiscite, just as that of the individual is a continual affirmation of life.
Nations are not eternal. They have bad beginnings and will have ends; and will probably be replaced by a confederation of Europe.”
Ernest Renan: What is a Nation?
The question of what constitutes a legitimate nation was addressed by Renan in a speech presented to an audience at the Sorbonne University in 1882. His answer is remarkable for various reasons and, from a historical perspective, exhibits an almost prophetic character.
According to Renan, nations are rather recent phenomena in history; they are “the historic consequence of a series of facts converging towards the same point.” Consequently, there is no reason to assume that nations will exist forever. What distinguishes nations is that they transcend the dynastic principle: a dynasty’s right to rule is at least complemented by a “national right”. A nation may be created by a dynasty and continue to be ruled by it, but not necessarily cease to exist once the dynasty disappears. What, then, are the criteria that such a powerful national right can be based upon? Among those discussed by Renan are race, language, religion and geography. However, while Renan admits that these criteria do have some significance he also argues that they are insufficient to legitimately found a nation upon them. They may even become dangerous when applied in a narrow, negative sense for the purpose of separation. Race, language, religion and geography certainly have the potential to create a spirit of commonality among those sharing these attributes, but can just as easily be manipulated to distance a people from “the others” and encourage an “us- against- them” mentality. The dangers created by such a negative legitimacy are twofold: it may lead to aggressive behaviour, but also prompt threatened nations to adopt a similar mindset that could result in a potentially devastating backlash. Indeed, 20th century history provides ample proof for this assertion.
Renan therefore believes that a nation must have a moral consciousness evolving from past experiences where “sorrows have greater value than victories; for they impose duties and demand common effort.” What Renan proposes is no less than a concept of positive legitimacy for nationhood that encompasses ethical and moral considerations and emphasises duties and obligations. Renan’s definition of positive legitimacy can also be employed to justify a regional or even international state when regional or eventually global shared experiences begin to manifest themselves in the minds of people. In fact, a nation is the result of the enlargement of experiences and memories from the village, district, principality or kingdom levels. In this light, a nation can also be perceived as a new identity, and its characteristics be determined by analysing its relationship with previous identities. The new identity may gradually evolve; it may be imposed or adopted. It may coexist with earlier identities or attempt to suppress them. Furthermore, earlier identities are likely to respond and their reactions can range from adoption to ignorance or even resistance. In any case, old and new identities will certainly interact. Can this interaction be guided, controlled or be kept from turning violent and if so, should this even be attempted? Every identity possesses positive and negative qualities. Following Renan, positive qualities are those allowing for progression in the broadest sense, i.e. they respond to changing circumstances and are open for new influences. They focus on commonalities rather than on differences. Negative qualities on the other hand are essentially defensive and exclusive, they favour separation. In theory at least, a “peaceful coexistence” of different identities seems possible as long as their positive qualities prevail.
Even if we accept this, the question remains whether a peaceful coexistence of identities is a desirable goal. An alternative view could be to argue for a dialectical relationship of identities. Sooner or later, an identity will produce contradictions due to changes in the social, economic or cultural environment. Instead of gradual adaptation, these contradictions could be reconciled only through the establishment of a new identity that is more suited for the altered circumstances. In a dialectical process the task would be to ensure that only the positive qualities are “synthesised”, although how that could be done exactly remains another problem.
Ernest Renan provided us with a normative definition of what constitutes a nation based on a concept of positive legitimacy. If we think of a nation as a new form of identity, applying the concept of positive legitimacy to previous (or maybe even future) identities could help us to understand the interaction between old or traditional and new identities. We could then develop methods to guide this interaction. To what end such guidance should be undertaken is debatable, at the very least conflicts should be avoided. However, any interaction of different identities could produce a wide range of results: from an amalgam to a plurality of identities, or from hegemony to even supremacy of one identity.
Unfortunately, Renan’s enlightened views about the desirable qualities of a nation did not prevail. Instead, nations were founded precisely on the grounds (or identities) that he considered insufficient; namely race, language, religion or territory. The consequences were disastrous and included two world wars, countless imperialist aggressions and colonial exploitation.
After World War II, a new form of nation emerged. These nations derived their legitimacy by and large from the anti- colonial freedom struggle as well as from an often rich and ancient cultural heritage. However, while the experience of colonial exploitation qualifies perfectly as the shared historical memories that Renan believed to be the foundation of a nation, the cultural heritage turned out to be extremely heterogeneous and has been reflected in the immense ethnic, religious and linguistic diversity of the new nations ever since. Consequently, the problems these nations are confronted with include ethnic insurgencies, separation movements and, more recently, terrorism. As we shall see, these problems often increased once the legacy of the freedom movement had started to fade away.
Thus, Renan’s definition may tell us what an ideal nation ought to be, but it offers little help in explaining contemporary nations. Whatever cultural or social identities a nation is based upon, it will always attempt political manifestation. Accordingly, “a nation is best defined as a society which either governs itself today, or has done so in the past, or has a credible claim to do so in the not-too-distant future.” There are some problems with this definition as well, most notably the question what a credible claim is and, of course, the necessary precondition of a preferably undisputed geographical territory. Nonetheless, its emphasis on political aspects offers an escape from the seemingly hopeless attempts to define modern nationhood in purely cultural or social terms.
The process of politically constituting and consolidating nationhood can be termed nationbuilding. Similar to the problems of defining a nation, there is some conceptual ambivalence about nationbuilding. Karl W. Deutsch distinguishes nationbuilding from the concepts of national growth and national development. While the former reflects a historical perspective, the latter possesses an
“awareness of internal and external interdependence in both space and time- that characterises the organismic image and tends to stress the influence of the past, the environment, and the vast, complex, and slow- changing aspects of the actions and expectations of millions of people.”
National development incorporates historical, political, social and cultural aspects and is therefore the most comprehensive concept of the three. Notwithstanding the risk of causing unnecessary confusion it seems important to introduce yet another concept- that of national integration. National integration describes the process of political integration at the national level, but this definition fails to adequately capture the difference between national integration and nationbuilding. According to Birch, national integration consists of two parts: planned and unplanned. The planned component of national integration comprises the entire range of government policies implemented to start, develop, consolidate or improve the process of integration- in short, nationbuilding. The unplanned component can be referred to as social mobilisation.
Furthermore, national integration is a historical process that has often begun long before nations came into existence. The specific conditions in the former colonies have linked national integration to overall social, political and cultural development.
“National integration”, according to Azam, “will itself be a variable of the total dynamics of social and political change…Therefore, in a broad perspective national integration may be defined as that point of equilibrium where the will and aspirations of the masses and the elite coincide as to the nature, functions and purposes of a civic society…”
In the light of this definition, nationbuilding as a deliberate political attempt to facilitate national integration can be seen as a means to reduce the variables. If national integration is a dependent variable, establishing at least one fixed element in the form of a nationbuilding- plan could significantly reduce the number of possible outcomes and therefore provide a substantial degree of stability.
If intention is the main aspect that distinguishes nationbuilding from other unplanned, unforeseeable or undeliberate developments that have, at least from a historical point of view, nevertheless contributed to national integration, it seems reasonable to assess why national integration should be attempted in the first place.
Birch identifies four arguments that have been developed to support the process of national integration. The first of these is derived from Hegel’s justification, or some might even say glorification, of the state as outlined in his monumental work The Philosophy of Right.
For Hegel, nation and state represent necessary developments of world history. World history is not characterised by “the abstract and non-rational inevitability of a blind destiny”, but manifests itself through reason and freedom of mind (para. 342). This mind, however, is “clothing itself with the form of events or the immediate actuality of nature [so that] the stages of its development are therefore presented as immediate natural principles.” (para. 346) With regard to a nation, these natural principles impose themselves “in the external form of its geographical and anthropological conditions.” (ibid.) The historic task of a nation entrusted with these natural principles is to give them “complete effect…in the advance of the self-developing self-consciousness of the world mind.” (para. 347) Advancing a self- developing self- consciousness implies the transformation of a nation’s “formal autonomy” into true sovereignty; a process that requires, according to Hegel, the deliberate creation of a state characterised by objective law and an explicitly established rational constitution (para. 349).
Following Hegel, nationbuilding is the process of a nation becoming truly conscious of itself, and the most obvious but similarly necessary expression of that consciousness is a state. Thus, state- building is both an important element of and a precondition for nationbuilding.
World history as the result of a reasoned and free world mind is a progressively linear development, i.e. every historical stage rests upon a mind that is “higher” than that of the preceding stage (para. 343). Hegel uses this argument to justify the right of “civilised nations” to regard and treat as barbarians “those who lag behind them in institutions”, deny them equal rights and view “their autonomy as only a formality.” (para. 351) This form of reasoning, powerful in its historical foundation and determination, has arguably produced many of the atrocities and crimes against humanity that have shaped world history.
The second argument for national integration discussed by Birch calls for social assimilation of groups of people that are viewed as inferior into the cultural mainstream of the civilised nation. The justification here is that assimilation would only benefit backward people who would otherwise remain in a state of ignorance and economic despair. As with Hegel’s argument, history provides countless examples of what this means in practice.
The third argument favours national integration as a means of ensuring the proper functioning of the state. A high degree of diversity is seen as potentially dangerous as it may lead to divided loyalties that could tear the state apart or at least substantially paralyse it. This threat would be especially significant in a democratic setup where ideology- or program- based politics could be abandoned in favour of vote- bank politics based on primordial loyalties. Finally, the fourth line of argument stresses the importance of national integration as the only way of continuously securing political authority. Again, this is significant in circumstances of extreme diversity where potential alternative centres of (social, religious or cultural) power may at any time question the legitimacy of the state.
What all four arguments have in common is that they seem to suppose that national integration requires a process of uniformisation, homogenisation, harmonisation or standardisation. Not surprisingly then, this supposition is reflected in the early theories of nationbuilding.
Nationbuilding as a conceptual framework has only been developed after World War II and can largely be attributed to the works of Karl W. Deutsch. Although the formation of European nation states does resemble elements of nationbuilding (for instance in the cases of the unification processes of Germany and Italy), comprehensive theories have not accompanied these developments, simply because they were not necessary. The populations were relatively homogenous, they shared the same language, and religious and cultural differences were minimal. The multicultural and diverse Habsburg Empire was divided into convenient nation states with similar characteristics after World War I.
The end of the age of colonialism that began after World War II witnessed the emergence of a multitude of new states most of which were characterised by extreme diversity in almost every aspect. However, the idea of a nation had become powerful in these newly independent countries as nationalism, inherited and borrowed from the colonial powers, had been transformed into the ideology of the freedom struggle. Once independence had been achieved, the task was to align this ideology with the realities of diversity. Nationbuilding theories emerged in this context as they attempted to provide a guideline for this task.
At the beginning of this chapter the concept of nation has been discussed as an identity. It has been argued that several identities may peacefully coexist, provided several conditions are met (prevalence of “positive” identity aspects). Another way of approaching the concept of a nation is to think of it as a community. In the first case, nationbuilding can be perceived as identity building, in the latter case as community building. What is the difference between the two? A starting point here could be the rather obvious fact that while an identity can be individual or collective, a community does always comprise a group of people. Furthermore, the members of a community share at least one specific identity, or believe they do. It is this shared (or imagined) identity that makes the community identifiable. Does this mean that every identity will inevitably produce a community in a predetermined matter? According to Webb, Schirato and Danaher, sociologists such as Pierre Bourdieu have argued that a community “is constructed by a series of discourses about ‘society’; its boundaries are established arbitrarily as the result of (often) centuries of conflict; and the community (both land and people) emerges as ‘real’ only as the result of a series of societal practices.”
Applied to the realm of politics, a political community (such as a nation) becomes real only through a series of deliberate political acts that can be perceived as nationbuilding. Thus, while both community and identity are rather amorphous concepts, the notion of a community offers at least some leverage points for a program of nationbuilding. However, once serious doubts regarding the applicability of such a program emerged, the concept of identity with its greater flexibility became favoured. It is this background that allows us to broadly distinguish two categories of nationbuilding theories: modern and postmodern. The project of modernity, in the broadest sense, describes the emancipation of humanity from nature, superstition, religion, unreasonableness and irrationality; a process that will enable humans to become the masters of their own destiny. Modern nationbuilding therefore presupposes a detailed reasonable and rational plan.
A series of events in the modern age (most notably the two World Wars) led to scepticism regarding the rational capacity of humans. Furthermore, the immense diversity of human actions, beliefs, languages etc. seemed to make any attempt of offering universal explanations or universally applicable programs obsolete. Postmodernists believe that diversity has to be accepted and accommodated. While postmodern nationbuilding theories accepted national integration as the best strategy for political stability in a fragmented society, they reject any program of uniformisation or homogenisation.
Modern nationbuilding is the Architecture for the process of national integration, certainly in its mechanical, maybe less in its aesthetical aspects. We have discussed four arguments in support of national integration, but what the precise ends of this process should be remains unclear. Karl W. Deutsch identifies four possible tasks of any process of political integration: 1) the preservation of peace, 2) the attainment of greater multipurpose capabilities, 3) the accomplishment of some specific task, and 4) the development of a new self- image and role identity.
Although not every process of integration needs to target all goals at once, there seems to be a hierarchy of interdependence among them, i.e. task 1) is a precondition for all others and task 4) may be attempted only if tasks 1-3 have been accomplished. In any case, successful accomplishment of any or all tasks depends on what Deutsch calls the background conditions of integration that include mutual relevance of the integrational units, compatibility of values and actual joint rewards, mutual responsiveness and some degree of common identity or loyalty.
Political integration leads to the establishment of a political community. Depending on the number of integrational tasks this community attempts to accomplish, Deutsch categorises two types of political communities: amalgamated and pluralistic. As in both types the preservation of peace is the primary and most important goal, they can also be called amalgamated or pluralistic security communities.
Consequently, any deliberate attempt to facilitate integration should be aware of what type of political community it wants to create. While the desired goals of the integrational process provide some indication, the respective background conditions obviously have to be accounted for as well.
Following Deutsch’s outline of the goals of integration, it is probably fair to conclude that national integration targets all four of them. The preferred outcome of national integration should therefore be an amalgamated political community. While this conclusion seems rather logical, the problem remains whether the background conditions are correspondent or not. Modern nationbuilding assumes that the background conditions are at least sufficiently favourable for the deliberate process of establishing an amalgamated community.
It may seem rather peculiar how such an assumption can be made, but modern nationbuilding approaches this problem by incorporating the concept of modernisation. Modernisation, it is argued, takes place in stages. This perception has some obvious advantages. First, it establishes the principle that history evolves in a linear- progressive manner. If we recall Hegel’s argument for national integration it becomes clear that this view of history can be used to justify just about anything in the name of progress. Another implication is that stages and their respective characteristics can be identified. From here, it is only a small step to devise concepts aimed at guiding, facilitating or accelerating progress within a stage, or from one stage to another. With regard to the background conditions the stage theory allows for a minimum of compliance with the national integration project as the task is only to attribute a given set of background conditions to a specific stage. While without deliberate intervention gradually changing background conditions may slowly bring about a new stage, modern nationbuilding is built precisely on the assumption that this process works the other way around as well: by constantly and consciously guiding the integrational process towards the next stage, originally unfavourable background conditions would become irrelevant as they would change according to the new circumstances.
Karl W. Deutsch suggests that national integration towards an amalgamated community takes place in four stages. In the first stage, there may be widespread violent resistance against amalgamation. In the second, a minimum of integration may have been accomplished so that instead of resistance there is passive compliance. The third stage is characterised by active support for the integrational project while ethnic or cultural diversities continue to exist. These diversities cease to exist in the fourth and final stage when the process of amalgamation is complete and all differences have been assimilated into the dominant and by now common culture.
In order to make an assessment of these ideas it is necessary to discuss Deutsch’s views on society, culture, peoples and nations that provide the intellectual basis for his assertions. A society, according to Deutsch,
is “a group of individuals made interdependent by the division of labour, the production and distribution of goods and services” and “to the extent that there are marked differences in the degree of such interdependence, not just in respect to a few particular goods and services, but in regard to many services, we may consider one society as separate from others.”
Division of labour necessitated an early social stratification based on occupation that also produced spatial gaps (urban- rural) and economic differences (classes). Among these emerging groups a common culture might develop because its members share a “common set of stable, habitual preferences and priorities in [their] attention, and behaviour, as well as in their thoughts and feelings.” Obviously, the development of such a common culture involves more or less intensive forms of communication among the members. Communication, according to Deutsch, “is usually easier for men…within the same culture than across its boundaries.” If a common culture utilises its communication opportunities and facilitates them, it creates a community.
It is important to note the development aspect here: communication has to be wanted, expanded and enhanced. This is particularly important once the number of members of a common culture increases. The degree, or stage, of communication a culture has achieved can be quantified through its efficiency. The efficiency of communication channels obviously depends on how fast information is passed through, and the speed of this process increases with greater complementarity among the “parts” involved in the communication process. A group consisting of a large number of people linked by effective and efficient communication processes can be called a people. Karl W. Deutsch calls this “a functional definition of nationality.”
Accordingly, nationality is an adaptable concept as it evolves in correspondence with better communication facilities. In the modern stage, communication takes place at an unprecedented scale. Modern nationality is defined by Deutsch as
“a social, economic, and political alignment of individuals from different social classes and occupations, around a centre and a leading group. Its members are united by more intensive social communication, and are linked to these centres and leading groups by an unbroken chain of connections in communications, and often also in economic life, with no sharp break in the possibilities of communication and substitution at any link, and hence with a somewhat better probability of social rise from rank to rank.”
Another aspect of the modern stage is that the social disruptions produced by industrialisation enhance the possible rewards individuals may derive from successful group alignment based on an effective organisation. Interestingly, this argument can also be employed to explain many of the violent responses to modernity that have shaped the past decades, such as ethnic uprisings or, more recently, Islamic terrorism.
Thus, the evolution of communication techniques and practices and the corresponding social developments produce what can be called a self- reinforcing mechanism. The greater the number of people incorporated into a common culture through better communication, the greater the desire to develop an adequate and corresponding degree of control over them. The best way to achieve this is through more conformity, and a convenient starting point in this regard is the establishment of a series of symbols such as flags or anthems. Symbols transport an image of uniformity; adherence to symbols can then produce compliance with an established (mainstream) set of behavioural rules or norms. The self- reinforcing mechanism develops because the effective transportation of symbols requires constantly improving communication methods.
Eventually, modern nationality has to express itself in a political manifestation- the nation- state- as only the sovereignty of a nation- state can ensure a continuous self- reinforcing process of integration.
As we have seen, Deutsch relates the emergence of modern nation- states to the evolution of communication techniques and methods. Stages in communication development correspond to stages in the overall society. However, this is not a predetermined process as an awareness of communication possibilities among the members of a common culture, as well as willingness to use and enhance these possibilities are also required. It is only through this consciousness that a common culture can be transformed into a community.
With regard to nationbuilding this would suggest a deliberate attempt to increase and facilitate communication among the units and subjects of the integrational process, especially among those who are sceptical or recalcitrant. Still, how exactly this can be done remains a mystery.
The solution offered by Deutsch comes in the form of what he calls social mobilisation. According to him, social mobilisation occurs when “economic, social, and technological developments mobilize individuals for relatively more intensive communication”.
We can easily see what he means by that by applying it to nationbuilding. Successful national integration requires a high rate of social mobilisation, i.e. a high rate of communication, especially in those regions where resistance persists. This can be achieved through building schools or roads, providing electricity or phone lines or, nowadays, establishing internet facilities. Such investments link problematic areas to the heartland, they increase social, economic and cultural exchanges and they raise both the reward for continuous integration as well as the degree of deprivation if it is interrupted. Schools provide the opportunity to spread values and customs of the mainstream culture; at the very least they can be used to spread the “national” language. In short, infrastructural investments that result in increased social mobility can greatly accelerate the assimilation process. This is the basic idea of nationbuilding. If we recall Birch’s definition of national integration that distinguished between a planned (nationbuilding) and an unplanned (social mobilisation) component, we can see that successful nationbuilding implies deliberate intervention in the unplanned component so as to reduce its uncertainties, unpredictability and fortuitousness.
Within the modern nationbuilding framework a series of theories emerged that usually focused on specific aspects of the “construction” process such as the economy, state institutions or the overall society. Generally, although not exclusively, these theories may be classified into two categories: modernisation and development. Nationbuilding as political modernisation implies “a study of the developed Western and modern countries and of their ways that the developing countries are trying to emulate.” The two obviously contestable assumptions here are that the Western model does indeed represent the outcome of historical progress, i.e. it reflects a higher civilizing stage and should therefore be replicated; and that successful emulation requires modernisation similar to that of the developed countries.
W.W. Rostow relates political to economic modernisation. According to him, “it is possible to identify all societies, in their economic dimensions, as lying within one of five categories: the traditional society, the preconditions for take-off, the take-off, the drive to maturity, and the age of high mass-consumption.” These stages of economic growth produce a “succession of strategic choices made by various societies concerning the disposition of their resources” - and such strategic choices form, according to Harold Laswell’s definition, the essence of politics.
Another variant of stage theory was provided by A.F.K. Organski who focused more on political aspects. He distinguished four stages of political development that include 1) primitive national unification, 2) industrialisation, 3) national welfare and 4) the age of abundance. Organski’s stage model only differs from Rostow’s in its emphasis. As his political stages correspond to specific economic stages, i.e. the attainment of a higher political stage depends on economic progress; his model can be seen as an extension of Rostow’s.
Political modernisation may also be approached through the interdependence of political systems with the overall social system in which they operate. E.A. Shils classifies five types of political systems each of which corresponds to specific social patterns: traditional oligarchy (kinship- based power), totalitarian oligarchy (coercion- based power), modernising oligarchy (institution- based power- military, bureaucracy etc.), tutelary democracy (executive- based power) and political democracy (legislative- based power). Again, the main characteristic of this outline is the assumption of a civilizing hierarchy.
Yet another classification was provided by Gabriel Almond and Sidney Verba who related political modernisation to a specific political culture. Depending on the political orientation of the members of a society, i.e. their expectations towards the political system, there are three types of political culture: parochial, subject and participant. Each of these types corresponds to the prevalent civic culture in society that is described by Almond and Verba as a combination of tradition and modernity. Thus, a society hostile to modernity is more likely to produce a parochial political culture than one open to it. But there is also a linear- progressive tendency: a participant political culture both implies and reinforces a vibrant civic culture. The advantage of this approach is that it emphasises the interdependent relationship of the political system with its social environment.
The relationship between society and political system has been further elaborated by Robert Putnam. He attempted to provide an explanation for the glaring differences in the strength and appeal of democratic institutions between North and South Italy. According to Putnam, these differences relate to the respective “stock” of social capital- while in the North that stock is plentiful, it is minimal in the South. Stocks of social capital include “trust, norms and networks” and these “tend to be self-reinforcing and cumulative.” Political modernisation therefore requires building social capital, because “social context and history profoundly condition the effectiveness of institutions.”
A somewhat more pessimistic (some would say realistic) view was expressed by Samuel Huntington. Many of the countries that had become independent after World War II witnessed an authoritarian backlash in the 1950s and 60s as a result of insurgencies or cessation movements that their original democratic set- up had failed to cope with. These experiences led Huntington to conclude that modernisation required political stability, even if that meant authoritarianism, because it (modernisation) would inevitably produce social and cultural cleavages that could threaten the process of national integration.
There have, however, also been attempts to integrate all of these aspects of political modernisation into a more comprehensive framework. In the same way a social system can be assessed through an analysis of the interaction and interdependence of its units (subsystems), the political process can be divided into “subprocesses or phases of political decision and action” that may relate to the social, economic, cultural or political sphere.
Thus, a system consists of certain structures that perform specific functions, and a way to quantify the system’s performance is to examine the performance of the structures with regard to their functions as well as the interaction among them. The degree of integration depends on how this interaction affects both structure and system performance: a fully integrated system in this light would be characterised by a higher overall performance than the sum of the performances of its structures. The outline of what came to be known as the “functional approach” has been provided by Gabriel Almond who applied structural- functionalism to the comparative study of politics.
The views discussed so far all have in common that they aim for an explanatory model with universal applicability. They are modernist in so far as they all assume a linear- progressive mode of development that takes place in stages and can be derived from the western experience. The western path of modernisation is therefore a model for emulation. While the number of parameters considered relevant in both advancing and emulating this model so as to allow for significant regional variations has constantly increased, the basic thrust has remained the same. The ecological approach that became popular in the 1960s emphasises the need to consider the distinctive characteristic of the environment in which a system operates, but it nevertheless presumed that those distinctions follow an overall universal pattern.
The notion of universally applicable theories of nationbuilding was challenged by the American- Chinese political scientist Lucian Pye. Nationbuilding, as discussed so far, consists of two aspects: state- building and politically guided and facilitated social mobilisation. According to Pye, political development can be assessed at three different levels: that of the population as a whole, that of overall system performance and that of the organisation of the political system.
The state- building aspect of nationbuilding refers to the organisation of the political system and Pye agrees with his colleagues that the establishment of a nation- state has to be the starting point. However, because of the interaction between the three levels of political development he is sceptical about any universal plans: the number of the involved variables is simply too large. Political development may come about rather smoothly and simultaneously at all levels, but there could also be serious contradictions. Pye therefore opposes concepts of nationbuilding that only focus on one aspect (such as the state, economy, bureaucracy etc.) but also rejects approaches that, despite being more comprehensive, continue advocating theories with universal applicability.
Johari summarises Pye’s views as follows: “[Political] development is clearly not unilinear, nor is it governed by sharp and distinct stages, but rather by a range of problems that may arise separately or concurrently.”
Hence, Pye mounted the first serious challenge to the notion of the replicability of the western experience. However, Pye was far from concluding that nationbuilding was impossible. Instead of a universal nationbuilding plan, he proposed plans according to the needs and circumstances of the respective countries.
The final assault on nationbuilding theory, or for that matter any concept that viewed the western model as both exemplary and worth imitating, came with Edward W. Said’s assertion that the West’s views of and attitude towards the East are shaped by the colonial and imperialist experience. The age of colonialism and imperialism changed European feelings about the “Orient” from sometimes fearful and mystically enriched curiosity to sentiments of supremacy and power. Said argues that these latter sentiments continue to linger on even after the end of the colonial age, if not always openly then in a subtle manner. The people of the East are still rather viewed as subjects, their culture perceived as inferior, and they have to be guided and educated to make them fit for modernisation.
Said’s powerful argument has shaped the academic debate between the East and the West ever since. It provided a framework for the East, or for that matter the entire developing world that allowed for the self- conscious rejection of Western concepts, and at the same time required the West to distance itself from Orientalism. The era of globalisation that has once again unleashed Western concepts on the rest of the world presents another chapter of Orientalism; its discussion would, however, go beyond the scope of this paper.
Before the postmodern response to modern nationbuilding is discussed, it is necessary to briefly examine another stream of criticism that has been completely ignored so far- Marxist theories of development. The reason for this ignorance is not that the author of this paper considers the Marxist stream to be irrelevant, but that the entire Marxist framework is arguably more modern in its orientation than the Western liberal theories.
The basic Marxist ideology, historic materialism, attempts no less than to be the science of history. Marx himself developed what can justifiably be considered the archetype of a stage model of historic development in his various works. “The manner in which men produce their means of life depends first of all upon the nature of the means which they have found and have to reproduce”, thus, “it is not consciousness that determines life, but life that determines consciousness.” This general outline of the material base of all social development is then transformed into a theory of historical progress:
“In the social production of their subsistence men enter into determined and necessary relations with each other which are independent of their wills--production-relations which correspond to a definite stage of development of their material productive forces. The sum of these production-relations forms the economic structure of society, the real basis upon which a juridical and political superstructure arises, and to which definite social forms of consciousness correspond.”
Hence, Marx famously concluded, “the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.” The nation- state is the arena of the class struggle between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat in the modern age that is characterised by the capitalist mode of production. It does therefore have its necessary place in historical development: “Though not in substance, yet in form, the struggle of the proletariat with the bourgeoisie is at first a national struggle. The proletariat of each country must, of course, first of all settle matters with its own bourgeoisie.”
Strictly interpreted this implies that a proletarian revolution can only hope to be successful and should also only be attempted when a sufficient stage of capitalist development has been reached. Marx, acknowledging the incredible strength of the productive forces in the capitalist mode of production, had perhaps been instinctively aware of the fact that an adequate standard of living, i.e. an adequate material base, would be difficult to achieve in both the socialist or communist modes of production if the means to do so could not be inherited from capitalism. However, the successful Marxist revolutions of the 20th century all took place in not fully developed or rather hopelessly underdeveloped societies. Consequently, this deficiency had to be overcome. The modernisation attempts of the Soviet Union or China can be seen as models of socialist nationbuilding. Although impressive results were achieved, socialist nationbuilding had a rather ruthless character as it was completely inconsiderate of environmental, social or cultural concerns, and especially of minority issues. Thus, with regard to the question how diversity can be accommodated in a process of political integration, Marxist development models were even more geared towards homogenisation and uniformisation than their western liberal counterparts. It may be unjustified to blame Marx for all the atrocities that have been committed in his name, but while he was specific about the stages of historical development, at least as far as the transformation of capitalist society is concerned, he certainly failed to provide more detailed instructions regarding the time after the revolution. In any case, the main philosophical contradiction in his work that had already been exposed by Michail Bakunin is the problem of how a truly free society such as communism can be established through a dictatorship (of the proletariat). The justification here is that since the proletariat represents the vast majority of a population its dictatorship would only be dictatorial towards a few remaining counterrevolutionary elements. While even this is highly contestable, the more challenging issue is how authoritarian or elite- building tendencies can be avoided among the proletarian leadership once it has appropriated the state with all the opportunities of corruption or misuse of power that go along with this act. Bakunin believed that since this is impossible, the simple and radical solution would be to abolish the state altogether. This assertion earned him the enmity of Marx and eventually the exclusion from the First International, but it seems that history has, at least so far, proven him right.
Marxist criticism towards the liberal model of nationbuilding involves theories of imperialism, dependency and underdevelopment. Theories that deserve exemplary attention in this regard include Lenin’s view of imperialism as the highest stage of capitalism, Rosa Luxemburg’s inquiry into the “accumulation of capital” that explored the relationship between state, capital, militarism and racism, Andre´ Gunder Frank’s provocative thesis of the “development of underdevelopment” and Samir Amin’s theory of unequal exchange.
The historical examples of socialist nationbuilding provide more indication of what should be avoided in a national integration process than a guideline for emulation. However, the various Marxists theories that criticise liberal modern nationbuilding have to be regarded as thought- and useful criticism as they accentuate two important problems. First, there is the question of how much freedom and independence is required for true national integration. Will external influence or even pressure provoke a backlash in the integrational process, at least in the long run? At several points of this paper theories have been discussed that emphasise the need of awareness and consciousness in the forming of a nation. State- building can be accomplished by the national leadership, but deliberate social mobilisation sooner or later requires the cooperation and willingness of the population. In this light it seems conceivable that external interference could seriously jeopardise this process- people may accept or at least tolerate imposed integration policies but are certainly less inclined to do so when they feel these impositions come from outside. Furthermore, the aspects of social justice and equality must not be neglected in any form of political integration. The social aspect should be added to the list of Deutsch’s goals of integration. In order to win the population’s support for political integration towards an amalgamated community it seems imperative (and only fair for that matter) that the people as the ultimate subjects of integration are to benefit from it to the greatest possible extent.
With this in mind it is important to raise the question of leadership in political integration. With regard to national integration history provides countless examples that seem to indicate a high degree of mutual dependency. Karl W. Deutsch introduces yet another stage model to explain the role of leadership:
“At first, there is a stage of leadership by intellectuals, during which the movement is mainly supported by intellectuals (and not necessary a majority of these) and by relatively few and limited groups from other strata. Later on, there comes the stage of great politicians, when broader interest groups begin to swing behind the integration movement, and mutually rewarding compromises are worked out. Finally, this stage shades over into the stage of mass movements and/ or large scale elite politics, when the issue of political unification becomes intensely practical.”
The intellectuals provide the original idea why integration should be attempted, the great politicians see to it that this idea kicks off and materialises, but ultimately, the masses have to become involved. The examples of many post- World War II national integration projects highlight the nexus between these stages, especially between the latter two. However, once the original leadership had passed away, mass support faded and problems surfaced. Thus, we may want to add a fourth stage to Deutsch’s model- that of making the integrational process independent of leadership.
Another way to explain the problems many nationbuilding exercises encountered a few years after independence is to question the modern approach altogether, namely its emphasis on homogenisation or uniformisation. As has been mentioned, virtually all countries that became independent after World War II (including those attaining freedom in the second wave of anti- colonial liberation in the 1960s) are extremely diverse: culturally, ethnically, linguistically and religiously. According to Walker Connor,
“the problem of ethnic diversity is far too ubiquitous to be ignored by the serious scholar of nationbuilding, unless he subscribes to the position that ethnic diversity is not a matter for serious concern”. Furthermore, “the validity of this position apparently also rests upon one of two propositions. Either loyalty to the ethnic group is self- evidently compatible with loyalty to the state or…ethnic identification will prove to be of short duration, withering away as modernisation progresses.”
With regard to the first proposition Connor asserts that countless historical examples of problems in multiethnic societies prove that self- evidence of loyalty- compatibility is by no means a given fact. However, he does not completely dismiss such compatibility as completely impossible but maintains that modern nationbuilding theories have failed to show how this can be achieved in practice.
His main challenge to modern nationbuilding centres on the second proposition. Again, he employs history as witness to the argument that contrary to predictions, “ethnic consciousness is definitely in the ascendancy as a political force…and, what is of greater significance, multiethnic states at all levels of modernity have been afflicted.”
In fact, Connor believes that even an inverse correlation between modernisation and ethnic conflicts may exist. While he admits that there is no sufficient data to justify such a claim, “the substantial body of data which is (emphasis added) available supports the proposition that material increases in what Deutsch termed social communication and mobilisation tend to increase cultural awareness and to exacerbate interethnic conflict.”
If we recall the concept of social mobilisation with regard to nationbuilding we can see that the effect of investments aimed at furthering social communication is twofold.
“Advances in communications and transportation tend also to increase the cultural awareness of the minorities by making their members more aware of the distinctions between themselves and others…Not only does the individual become more aware of alien ethnic groups; he also becomes more aware of those who share his identity.”
The main mistake of modern nationbuilding is its narrow approach to the concept of a nation. According to Connor, there is an overall tendency to view a nation first and foremost in the context of a nation- state. This leads to confusion regarding the implications of nationbuilding as well: “Since most of the less developed states contain a number (emphasis added) of nations, and since the transfer of primary allegiance from these nations to the state is considered the sine qua non of successful integration, the true goal is not nation- building but nation- destroying.”
For Connor, the distinct feature of ethnic nationalism is its emotionality; an aspect that can obviously be neither addressed nor comprehended by rational modern theories. Connor therefore dismisses the assumption that material progress in the course of modernisation, i.e. the improvement of living conditions, will reduce the emotional attachment to ethnic identity. Marxists would argue that material progress alone is not sufficient, important is instead social justice and equality. However, Connor rejects this view too, because “there are a number of cases in which the ethnic consciousness of a minority and its animosity towards the dominant element became accentuated although the income gap between [them] was being rapidly closed.” Furthermore, the notion that increased contacts among different groups would lead to higher awareness of what unites them rather than what separates them is at best somewhat naïve and cannot be empirically verified.
Thus, Connor challenges the very foundation of modern nationbuilding- the belief that the evolution of nations and nation- states follows a distinctive, linear- progressive historical pattern that can be discovered and universally applied. In this sense, his views can be regarded as postmodern. Connor believes that the ethnic nation represents the outer limit of identity. As long as the preferred political arrangement is a state, this limit will pose a threat as it may produce loyalty contradictions, especially if the state is multiethnic in character. The only solution for Connor would be to transfer “primary allegiance from the nation to the state”, i.e. to transcend the national identity, but he admits his scepticism in this regard.
Should the postmodern challenge to the concept of modern nationbuilding be accepted? The validity of many, if not all, of Connor’s arguments can hardly be denied, but it must also be noted that in its consequence, postmodernism is as determinant and uncompromising as modernism: the notion of structured order has been replaced by that of random, even arbitrary chaos. While postmodern criticism certainly has to be accounted for, abandoning the project of modernity altogether is not the answer to diversity. In fact, in both the modern and the postmodern approach to nationbuilding we can identify elements that can be merged. Karl W. Deutsch’s pluralistic community could be the preferred arrangement instead of an amalgam. This would necessitate that more goals of integration can be accomplished in a pluralistic polity than merely the preservation of peace. While Deutsch thought that the attainment of several integrational goals would be easier in an amalgamated community, he did not indicate this was impossible in a pluralistic one. Could a pluralistic community lead to a transfer of primary allegiance to the state? It may seem difficult, but should not be dismissed as pure fantasy either. In any case, looking for ways to combine modern and postmodern aspects of nationbuilding requires compromises from both sides. Modern nationbuilding needs to reassess its concept of a nation and be ready to admit that this concept can be transcended. It further has to abandon the quest for theories of universal applicability. Postmodernism, on the other hand, needs to accept that humans do have the capacity to shape their own destiny.
A new approach to the concept of a nation came in the form of Benedict Anderson’s assertion that modern nations are only imagined political communities that are imagined as both inherently limited and sovereign. According to Anderson,
”they are imagined “because the members of even the smallest nation will never know most of their fellow members, meet them, or even hear from them”. Nations are also imagined as limited “because even the largest of them (…) has finite, if elastic, boundaries, beyond which lie other nations”. Furthermore, they are imagined as sovereign “because the concept was born in an age in which Enlightenment and Revolution were destroying the legitimacy of the divinely- ordained, hierarchical dynastic realm”. And they are imagined as a community “because, regardless of the actual inequality and exploitation that may prevail in each, the nation is always conceived as a deep, horizontal comradeship.”
What is the relevance of Anderson’s thesis with regard to nationbuilding? First of all, it re-establishes some of modern nationbuilding’s main tenets. It has a historical foundation and assumes that social engineering is possible. Secondly, modern nationbuilding despite its weaknesses has been the adopted model of virtually all states that became independent after World War II. Slightly altering his original opinion regarding the reason for this, Anderson asserts in the third edition of his book that “the immediate genealogy [of nationalism in the former colonised worlds of Asia and Africa] should be traced to the imaginings of the colonial state.” Modern nationbuilding was readily accepted not as a model of the West but because its tradition had been inherited from the colonial age, at least by the national leadership. Another reason may be that the postmodern approach to nationbuilding is essentially destructive: while rich and powerful in criticism, it offers very little alternatives. However, the nation as an imagined community could very well approximate Connor’s condition of the transfer of allegiance: if not in the realities of everyday life, at least in the imaginations of its people a multiethnic nation- state is possible.
The concept of a nation has been discussed as an identity, as a political community and as an imagined community. All three of these approaches do not have clearly defined borders so that there is significant overlapping among them. However, if we add the suffix –building to each of them, slight conceptual variations become visible. Identity- building seems to be a sociological rather than strictly political concept whereas the construction of a political community clearly shifts the emphasis to the realm of politics. Imagined community- building may offer an interdisciplinary alternative.
Regional integration, as Walter Mattli points out, “is no new phenomenon” as “examples of…leagues, commonwealths, unions, associations, pacts, confederacies, councils and their like are spread throughout history”, but its theoretical assessment has only begun in the early 1960s and can largely be attributed to the beginnings of (West) European integration. While Europe certainly is the first and prime example of regional integration after World War II, the past two decades have witnessed the emergence of a by now confusing number of regional organisations across the entire planet.
Confirming Deutsch’s view about the goals of integration, these organisations usually attempt economic integration (accomplishment of some specific task), for which the preservation of peace is considered a precondition. However, there is also the assumption that both goals will somewhat reinforce each other, i.e. while peace is necessary to begin with economic integration, increased trade and cooperation may make the successful preservation of peace more likely. Furthermore, there is no reason to conclude that integration will stop here, i.e. that the accomplishment of other goals of integration will not be pursued. It is these issues that theories of regional integration are concerned with.
Before we discuss these theories, it may be appropriate to clarify, or at least attempt to do so, what is meant by “region”. Region may be an even more diffuse concept than nation. The problems begin with establishing the boundaries of a regional system and become more difficult when specific regional attributes are to be defined. Language, ethnicity and religion have already been insufficient characteristics with regard to an acceptable definition of “nation”; they will probably not be too useful in an assessment of “region” either.
As has been discussed earlier, a nation has to become aware of itself, and at some point, this awareness has to be expressed politically. For the latter aspect, a territory is indispensable. Accordingly, a region could be called a more or less geographically distinct area that must realise this distinctiveness before a process of political integration can begin. A supposition in this regard could be that distinct geographical features may very well lead to other distinct features as well.
Thus, in some important aspects the concepts of region and nation are related. On closer examination this is less surprising than it may seem, since nations do consist of regions. National integration contains therefore always elements of regional integration. However, regional integration theories have been developed as an attempt to understand the integrational process among nation- states. According to Schneider, Weitsman and Bernauer,
“the process through which integration has evolved among states is akin to the processes that governed the formation of states. The increasing centralization of authority as well as the transfer of domestic loyalties to the more abstract and geographically remote government are similar to both state building and the integration process.”
Hence, everything that has been discussed as nationbuilding theories is applicable to regional integration as well. Nevertheless, a few theories have emerged on regional integration, most of them in the specific context of European integration. This brings us to a problem similar to that of nationbuilding: can universal theories be derived from the experience of a particular region?
Similar to what has been introduced as Gabriel Almond’s “functional approach” with regard to nationbuilding, functionalism as a theory of regional integration rests upon the same tenets. Political integration, functionalism suggests, can be accomplished by establishing “functional” institutions. It is important to realise the two connotations of the term “functional”: the institutions should both be functioning and have a specific function. In a nationbuilding exercise such institutions could include the bureaucracy, judiciary or police. The difference of functionalism in regional integration is that it proposes to establish functional institutions in “low- politics” areas first; political integration would then be a result of enhanced cooperation brought about by these institutions.
David Mitrany developed an essentially historical outline of functionalism. Functional institutions became a necessity because modern development increased the demand for both specialisation and cooperation. The post- World War II era produced a series of issues that, according to Mitrany, even further enhanced this demand, especially on an international level. These issues include the immense destruction brought about by the war, problems of nationbuilding or mutual technical assistance and cooperation, but also more normative matters such as the promotion of universal human rights. The list has arguably grown longer ever since and today also contains problems of climate change, globalisation or international terrorism. “Political action, integration”, Mitrany summarises, “knows only the continuous swelling of size, with its implicit hardening of government; functional action means continuous adaptation to changing ends and means.”
Mitrany also promotes functionalism as a more pragmatic and realistic approach to [regional or international] integration than federalism. A regional or international federation, he argues, would be such a “monstrous construction [that] even if desirable could hardly come about except through conquest.” Instead, goals of integration should be pursued “by making use of the present social and scientific opportunities to link together particular activities and interests, one at a time, according to need and acceptability, giving each a joint authority and policy limited to that activity alone.”
Another pioneer of the functional theory, Ernst Haas, seeks to clarify some of the early misconceptions of and about functionalism. One of these misconceptions regards the effect of functionalism on integration: “Integrative lessons learned in one functional context will be applied in others, thus eventually supplanting international politics.” Haas argues that such a learning process may only develop “if the actors… desire to adapt integrative lessons learned in one context to a new situation.” The importance of an element of conscious action in a process of political integration is a recurrent theme of integration theory.
Haas also provides an analysis of what he calls the utility of functionalism, both as an applied and theoretical concept. According to him, the utility of functionalism in both regards is limited. The areas of practical application, i.e. those where establishing functional institutions seems consequential, identified by him largely correspond to those discussed by Mitrany. However, these functional institutions will play only a minor role in a process of political integration beyond the nation- state because “each [functional] agency plans in a restricted context, with relatively little ability (either technical or political), to concern itself with the socio- economic factors of interest to other agencies.”
Functionalism as a theoretical approach is limited by the fact that it depends “for full analytical rigor on a vision of global social processes that approximate those of the industrialised West.” If that is not the case, functionalism is little more than a “heuristic” concept of what might be “potentially important”. Furthermore, functionalism itself is insufficient to explain processes of regional integration because “it remains subject to the assumption it makes concerning society…”
The limitation of functionalism to explain the various aspects that play a role in processes of integration has led to the emergence of neofunctionalism which can be seen as a more comprehensive approach than its predecessor.
Haas’ critical evaluation of early functionalism was, in fact, the origin of neofuntionalism. Neofuntionalism may also be regarded as an adaptation of functional tenets to the specific context of regional integration.
According to Philippe Schmitter, “any comprehensive theory of integration should potentially be a theory of disintegration.” Hence, integration should be studied as a process rather than as an outcome. Such a process does not have to be linear; it may also involve disintegrative elements. Schmitter developed a model that describes a process of regional integration as a progression of “decision cycles”. Depending on the effect these decision cycles have on the behaviour of the national actors in a regional integration process, Schmitter distinguishes three types of decision cycles: the initiation, priming and transformative cycles. In the initiation cycles, decisions encompass the establishment of a regional organisation and/ or several functional institutions. However, the behaviour of the national actors will only be slightly altered as national politics remain predominant. The priming cycles are characterised by “the rising importance of distinctive regional processes [as] regional- level rules and distributions gain in significance to the point that they begin to overshadow the opinions and actions of national governments, associations, and individuals.” It is interesting that Schmitter relates this process to the successful resolution of crisis situations.
A new quality of regional integration can only be reached through the completion of a series of effective priming cycles, i.e. through successfully coping with challenges. At some point, regional integration experiments “will have exhausted the potentialities inherent in functionally integrating their economies and dedicate more and more of their efforts to functionally integrating their polities. If this happens, regional integration has entered into the transformative cycle.
At first sight, these cycles correspond to the basic assumptions of functionalism. The difference is that neofuntionalism, emphasising integration as a process, concentrates on the priming cycles as their progression is likely to determine the entire integration process. “Initiating” integration, i.e. establishing some form of organisation and/ or functional institutions, is an easy exercise as long as painful compromises in actual policies are not required. It is also logical to assume that as long as everything goes well, these organisations and institutions will operate smoothly. However, if everything is fine, there is also no need for improvement- the integration process will come to a halt. A crisis situation on the other hand, while obviously producing the risk that one or several members may defect from integration, has also the potential for integrational progress. Neofuntionalism assumes that in such crisis situations, a “spill- over” effect, i.e. more and/or improved integration, is more likely to occur than defection or abandonment of integration. The reason for this assumption can be found in utility considerations: if the maintenance of the status quo is no option due to a crisis, continuing with integration is more in the self- interest of the actors than returning to a pre- integrational stage. Thus, neofunctionalism differs from its predecessor in that it does not presuppose an automatism of the spill- over effect, and takes into consideration the self- interest of the involved actors.
The concept of spill- over is essential to understanding the dynamics of integration. Functional spill- over may occur because increasing specialisation leads to more interdependence. Hence, functional institutions may at some point (such as a crisis) only be able to continue with their original task when further integrational measures are taken. Political spill- over “describes the process of adaptive behaviour, that is, the incremental shifting of expectations, the changing of values, and the coalescing at the supranational level of national interest groups and political parties in response to sectoral integration.” A third related process of dynamic integration implies an “upgrading of common interests.” This involves the protection of areas where a high degree of interdependence has already been reached from a bargaining process regarding questions of further integration. Mutual concessions can then be made that are unlikely to threaten the integrational process. Furthermore, effective upgrading of common interests necessitates an institutionalised independent mediator. Eventually, the members of integration will prefer compromise over defection so that the mediator and possibly other central institutions become further consolidated.
Political spill- over could also be perceived as the process of politicisation of (regional) integration. “Politicisation”, according to Hooghe and Marks, “is the point at which functionalists and neofunctionalists part company.”
While “functionality—the Pareto gains accruing from integration (functional spill- over)—is the engine,…politicization is the drive shaft—a decisive intervening variable—determining whether, when, and how functional pressures lead to regional integration.”
Thus, neofunctionalism attempts to investigate the processes through which integration takes place. Consequently, such an investigation also needs to include the actors who shape these processes. Here, neofunctionalism pays special attention to actors below the state such as interest groups or political parties, and to supranational regional institutions that are above the state, without completely neglecting the role of the state itself. In short, while functionalism has an essentially prescriptive character, neofunctionalism attempts to describe regional political integration according to the processes and actors it involves and the context in which it takes place. “As a theoretical prospectus”, Rosamond concludes, “it contemplated the replacement of power politics with a new supranational style, built around a core procedural consensus which resembled that of most domestic political systems.”
Neofunctionalism corresponds to a general trend in political science towards more empiricism. While earlier theories of post- national integration such as functionalism “owed their impetus ultimately to the desire among groups of intellectuals to advance towards a more peaceful form of world politics,…much of the neofunctionalist literature carried with it the desire to explain, classify and generate hypotheses to guide further empirical enquiry.”
With regard to Deutsch’s classification of the types of community integration could produce- amalgamated or pluralist- neofunctionalism clearly views the latter as applicable to regional integration.
Intergovernmentalism is an approach to regional integration that provides an alternative to supranationalism. The problem with neofunctionalism was that the envisaged new supranational style never really materialised. While most regional organisations have established a few supranational organisational structures such as a secretariat or the office of the secretary- general, these have remained by and large limited to ceremonial or at best mediating functions. A notable exception is, of course, the European Union, but even here measures towards further integration (such as the Lisbon Treaty) can only be taken and approved at an intergovernmental level (by the heads of state in the European Council). The interesting aspect here is that although the European Council is where the truly significant decisions with regard to the integrational process are taken, it has no formal status. Thus, even European integration can presently at best be conceived as a hybrid of supranationalism and intergovernmentalism.
Intergovernmentalism therefore argues that “integration can best be understood as a series of bargains between the heads of governments… [as these], jealous of their national sovereignty, carefully circumscribe any sacrifice of sovereignty that may become necessary in order to attain common goals.” While neofunctionalism shifted the focus to non- state actors, intergovernmentalism is concerned with the actions of state officials.
Interaction between governments obviously involves negotiations and bargaining and consequently such activities and their assessment form the nucleus of the intergovernmental approach. The methodology employed in this regard is largely borrowed from International Relations and includes theories of rational choice or decision- making. While these theories provide valuable insights into the preparations and considerations undertaken both before and during negotiations by each party, they fail to comprehend the dynamics of a negotiating process. This is where bargaining capacity comes into play. Bargaining theory, according to Frank Schimmelpfennig,
“argues that the outcome of international negotiations, that is, whether and on which terms cooperation comes about, depends on the relative bargaining power of the actors…Generally, those actors that have more and better information are able to manipulate the outcome to their advantage, and those actors that are least in need of a specific agreement are best able to threaten the others with non- cooperation and thereby force them to make concessions.”
Obviously, the bargaining capacity of a specific actor is difficult to quantify. There are further limitations of intergovernmentalism such as its neglect for the role of non- state actors or its lack of vision, i.e. its reluctance to propose or even anticipate possible outcomes of the process of integration. As Mattli notes, “a theory that explains the meandering course of integration solely in terms of shifting preferences offers few ways of assessing its validity.”
Intergovernmentalism may also be criticised for its disregard of supranational processes, organisations or institutions. However, James Caporaso argues that this criticism may be unjustified. According to him, intergovernmentalism does not exclude the prospects of supranational developments. However, if these occur, they do so because they represent the outcome of a domestic decision that one or several member states have brought into the negotiation process.
The evolution of regional integration theory has been a somewhat ambivalent development. On one side, there has been a general trend towards more realistic or less enthusiastically utopian assessments of regional integration processes based on the (narrow) interests of the involved actors. On the other side, this trend has led to a virtual absence of normative aspects in integration theory. Intellectual refusal to provide a normative framework that complements utility considerations has consequently resulted in visionary apathy among political actors as well, although this assumed causal relation is of course contestable. However, nationbuilding theories have emphasised the importance of a “grand idea” of national integration that is born as an intellectual child and then bequeathed to political leaders and eventually the populace. With regard to post- national integration, such a child had been born and even adopted by political leadership (in post- World War II Europe at least), but somehow it became an orphan before it could reach maturity.
A framework of political integration would be incomplete without at least briefly touching international integration. Generally, everything that has been discussed so far can be applied to international integration as well, theoretically that is. Functionalism in particular has been intended and designed as an approach to international integration. While quite a number of functional international organisations and institutions have been established, very few of them, “except perhaps the World Health Organisation and, among international non- government organisations, the International Red Cross”, have moved in the direction David Mitrany envisaged- winning, “through their performance, both increasing elite acceptance and popular support [while remaining largely non- political].”
International integration today is usually associated with the series of processes that have come to be described as globalisation. Most of these processes more or less relate to the economy, but obviously have repercussions in and on all other social aspects as well.
Integration has earlier been described as a process that involves both deliberate and unplanned elements. With regard to globalisation the latter predominate: while the initiation of globalisation includes conscious actions such as introducing liberal trade policies, its development seems to be rather guided by self- dynamic than by a “plan”. However, the self- dynamic process of globalisation has already produced a tendency towards uniformisation (of economic policy) and homogenisation (of cultures), both with dramatic consequences domestically and internationally. It is therefore absolutely imperative to complement globalisation with deliberate political international integration.
A reason why this obvious need has so far not been adequately addressed can be seen in the fact that the units of a potential international integrated political system have not emerged so far.
Nation- states remain the dominant actors in the international environment. However, a conclusion of the integration theories discussed so far could be that a higher (or geographically larger) stage of integration necessitates corresponding units or subsystems. National integration linked principalities, fiefdoms and the like together and not villages or other small units. Similarly, the logical units for regional integration would be nation- states. International integration could in this light only be accomplished by regions that had before integrated nation- states. The simple assumption here is that political integration requires somewhat manageable proportions- the sheer number and diversity of current nation- states make meaningful integration unlikely.
This brings us back to stage theories. A stage theory of political integration would then describe the national, regional and international stages of integration, but obviously has to include pre- national stages as well.
It has also been mentioned that a system has to somehow become aware of itself and this can either be done in a negative, exclusionary way (emphasising differences towards others), or through positively stressing commonalities. With regard to the former, international integration would probably require an attack from, or at least the discovery of, an extraterrestrial civilisation. However, some indications are there that provide hope for a more positive approach towards international integration. These indications include the growing awareness of the interdependent relationship in the international system in the light of pressing “global” issues such as climate change or terrorism, and the emergence of universal human values.
Since such assumptions remain highly speculative or even utopian, scholars of international integration concentrate on integrational aspects that do exist: International Organisations and International Law. It would not serve the purpose of this paper to elaborate on these aspects, especially since they have by and large been ineffective so far in their integrating capacity.
Integration seems to be an essential aspect of human social development. It is therefore a historical phenomenon. While integration may often appear to be a rather random process, there is sufficient reason to conclude that it can be facilitated, provided its underlying features, its potential as well as its limitations, can be identified. Numerous scholars have already significantly contributed to this task, but in many aspects, integration remains a mystery. A reason for this might be that integration as a historic process outreaches human comprehension, at least as far as the subjects of integration- the people of this planet- are concerned who may have difficulties realising the long- term benefits of integration.
Any system that becomes aware of itself will seek to become integrated, but for integration to be conceived as a dynamic development that has the potential to change and shape a system’s characteristics, the purpose of integration must ultimately relate to the people. Political integration as a deliberate attempt to guide integration should therefore produce results that are beneficial to and considerate of the needs of all human beings.
A theoretical stream that has not been included in this discussion but is extremely important with regard to political integration is federalism. Federalism will both in theory and practice be examined in chapter 3.
Political integration follows similar patterns regardless of the level at which it takes place. However, the dynamics of integration may vary- a general observation could be that increasing domains of integration reversely affect integrational dynamics because it becomes more difficult to correspondingly increase range and scope of integration.
Hence, attempts to deliberately facilitate political integration have to take into account such considerations. Theories of integration have emerged in this context and therefore offer specific frameworks for national, regional and, to a lesser extent, international integration.
This chapter analyses the respective background conditions of integration and their historical development. The underlying premise is that both the national integration of India and European integration are essentially different types of regional integration. The `national` character of the integration of India is reflected in the fact that it was imposed on the integrational units, whereas in Europe integration depends on the free and sovereign will of the members.
“Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom.”
India awoke on August 15th, 1947, not only to life and freedom, but also to horrors of an epic scale and a task of national integration that seemed to require a miracle of unprecedented proportions.
The final step towards the partition of the subcontinent in India and Pakistan was made in the form of the `June 3rd Plan`, named this way because it was announced by the British Prime Minister Attlee in the House of Commons on June 3rd, 1947. This plan, designed to end the Indian stalemate, had been presented to the respective Indian leaders- Nehru, Patel and Kripalani of the Indian National Congress as well as Jinnah, Liaqat Ali Khan and Abdur Rab Nishtar of the Muslim League- one day earlier by the British Viceroy to India, Lord Mountbatten. Both the Congress and the League accepted the plan, in the case of the former it was approved by the Congress Working Committee that had met on the same day shortly after the meeting. Baldev Singh, representing the Sikhs, signalled his acceptance as well.
The provisions of the June 3rd plan were implemented through the Indian Independence Act 1947 that was passed on June 15th, 1947, and received royal assent on July 18th, 1947. Violent communal tensions had already been prevalent before the partition. The Great Calcutta Killings of 1946 were the final death blow to efforts such as the Cabinet Mission Plan of June 1946 that were aimed at keeping the subcontinent united. However, what followed in the months after both India and Pakistan had gained their independence can justly be counted among the greatest tragedies in human history:
“In the first five months of Independence 12 million people fled both in the Punjab and in Bengal- one of the biggest population movements in history. This was ethnic cleansing on a scale that dwarfs the more recent events in the Balkans in the 1990s.”
Estimates of the number of people who did not survive these developments vary between several hundred thousand and a million. Thus, the national integration of India began with disintegration. However, the creation of Pakistan had serious consequences for the integration process in remaining India as well. According to Azam, it “divided the Muslim community without satisfying its total political ambition.” Furthermore, “the Muslims who had remained in India but were in support of the partition shared a separate consensus and either failed to re- socialise themselves politically, or to accept the new consensus based on the principles of democracy and secularism.” A third consequence of partition was that it “deprived the Indian Muslims of their social, cultural and political elite” so that “the process of transition and change through which most developing societies have passed, has been particularly difficult for the Indian Muslims.” Finally, “the Indo- Pakistan relations continue to influence the Hindu- Muslim relationship in India.”
The problems arising out of the partition, significant as they are, nevertheless present only one part of the background conditions for the process of national integration in India. The framework for this process was a new constitution that came into force on January 26th, 1950. It had to facilitate the political integration of 14 former British provinces two of which had to be divided between Pakistan and India, and 554 former princely states. These vast territories were inhabited by more than three hundred million people speaking about 1600 languages and practicing countless different religions, among them the native beliefs of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism as well as the three great monotheistic religions.
The following chapters attempt to provide a brief overview of the evolution of the background conditions for the national integration of India. At first, geographical, historical and cultural aspects shall be discussed followed by more recent political developments, i.e. the birth of the idea of the Indian nation and the manifestation of that idea in the demand for independence in the course of the freedom movement. Finally, an example shall be provided in order to illustrate some problematic consequences of these background conditions.
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