Chapter

Science, Culture, and Modern State Formation

Patrick Carroll

in Science, Culture, and Modern State Formation

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2006 | ISBN: 9780520247536
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520932807 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520247536.003.0001
Science, Culture, and Modern State Formation

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This chapter poses the problem of the relationship between science and state formation in terms of culture. It reveals the cultural uniqueness of the modern state when viewed from the perspective of technoscientific development and the rise of modern engineering. It adopts a strategy of triangulating culture in terms of discourse, practice, and materiality. It permits a conceptualization of the state with respect to the state-idea, the state-system, and the state-country. It explains that the state-idea captures the state as a discourse and institution; the state-system refers to the state as an organization of administrative practices; the concept of the state-country directs analysis to the ways that land, people, and the built environment are materially incorporated into the state. It suggests that the co-construction of science and government can be understood as a specific causal mechanism that explains the peculiar form of the modern state compared with other states in history.

Keywords: science; state formation; technoscientific development; modern engineering; triangulating culture; state-idea; state-system; state-country; government

Chapter.  5980 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Theory

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