Independent political entity that rules over, and in a sense represents a single nationality. A nation-state meets several criterion:

  • A nation-state is sovereign. That is, the government has unquestioned authority over the territory of the nation. Questions to sovereignty come in many forms: violent uprisings, lack of legitimacy, foreign intervention, etc.
  • A nation-state represents a nationality. Although there will inevitably be minority populations, a nation-state is a collection of people who share the same language, culture, history, and a sense of identity. Good examples are France and Japan.
  • The territory that the nationality inhabits is also the territory of the state.
The historical trend is toward the creation of nation-states, because as nationalities fight wars to gain independence, they form new nations through history.