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World Society and the Nation‐State

John W. Meyer, John Boli, George M. Thomas and Francisco O. Ramirez
American Journal of Sociology
Vol. 103, No. 1 (July 1997), pp. 144-181
DOI: 10.1086/231174
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/231174
Page Count: 38
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World Society and the Nation‐State
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Abstract

The authors analyze the nation‐state as a worldwide institution constructed by worldwide cultural and associational processes, developing four main topics: (1) properties of nation‐states that result from their exogenously driven construction, including isomorphism, decoupling, and expansive structuration; (2) processes by which rationalistic world culture affects national states; (3) characteristics of world society that enhance the impact of world culture on national states and societies, including conditions favoring the diffusion of world models, expansion of world‐level associations, and rationalized scientific and professional authority; (4) dynamic features of world culture and society that generate expansion, conflict, and change, especially the statelessness of world society, legitimation of multiple levels of rationalized actors, and internal inconsistencies and contradictions.