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date: 16 December 2017

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter traces the evolution of the modern state through three developmental processes: the rise of the territorial nation state, democratization, and the rise of the modern interventionist state. Primarily focusing on European patterns, we demonstrate how these three sequential stages were historically interlinked, thereby creating the modern “layered state.” We also explore the major divergences in the structure of the modern state. The chapter’s main contribution is to show how early nation-building processes indirectly shaped party politics, democratization, and welfare state development via different patterns of religious and confessional homogeneity and heterogeneity. While the rise of the modern state is normally cast as a secular development, religious and confessional dynamics have shaped the coalitional possibilities underpinning party politics, democratic breakdown, and welfare state development into the modern age.

Keywords: state transformation, the modern state, state building, state history, Europe, layered state, democratization, welfare state

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