On Geoffrey Benjamin’s deep sociology of the nation-state
ABSTRACT What is the unseen presence of the nation-state? What is so mystifying about the state of social theory that has effectively masked the nature of its cultural hegemony? At the time of his initial writing, Geoffrey Benjamin’s ruminations on these themes were novel and theoretically critical. Thirty years onward, many of these conceptual mysteries remain unresolved. However, like the advent of governmentality, neo-liberalism and biopolitics, the omnipresence of national imagination and violence of state power warrant problematization.
Keywords: nation-state, national identity
Note on the contributor
Allen Chun is a Research Fellow in the Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica, Taiwan. In addition to a monograph,Unstructuring Chinese Society: The Fictions of Colonial Practice and the Changing Realities of ‘Land’ in the New Territories of Hong Kong(2000), he edited a double issue inCultural Studies14(3-4) on “(Post)colonialism and Its Discontents” and a special issue inSocial Analysis46(2), entitled “Global Dissonances.” His papers have appeared in Toung Pao,Late Imperial China,History and Anthropology,Ethnic and Racial Studies,Journal of Historical Sociology, Current Anthropology,Theory Culture & Society,boundary 2,Communal/Plural,Cultural Anthropology,Postcolonial Studies,Inter-Asia Cultural Studies,Critique of Anthropology,Anthropological Theory, andPositions.