Civilization state

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A civilization state is a country that represents not just a historical territory, ethnolinguistic group, or body of governance, but a unique civilization in its own right. It is distinguished from the concept of a nation state by describing a country's dominant sociopolitical modes as constituting a category larger than a single nation. When classifying states as civilization states, emphasis is often placed on a country's historical continuity and cultural unity across a large geographic region.


  • Ever since British author and columnist Martin Jacques proposed about a decade ago that China was a ‘civilisation-state’ which Europe could not relate to given the latter’s nation-state-based worldview, similar assertions have been made about Bharat being a civilisation-state. In 2014, Dr. Koenraad Elst wrote a piece on his blog titled ‘India as a civilisation-state’ wherein, citing Zhang Weiwei’s book The China Wave: Rise of a Civilizational State, he contended that Bharat too must make a similar case for itself. Dr. Elst’s position was based on his view that Bharat’s ‘self-understanding’ supported its case of being or becoming a civilisation-state. Subsequently, this position has been echoed by others, including the current National Security Advisor Shri Ajit Doval. In my opinion, such a position must be examined and made good from both a conceptual and practical perspective if the purpose is to give effect to that position at the level of law and policymaking, failing which, it would be reduced to just another fashionable buzzword or a mere talking point.
    • J Sai Deepak - India that is Bharat_ Coloniality, Civilisation, Constitution-_ Bloomsbury India (2021)
  • That said, merely because Bharat is a living civilisation in the realm of society, it does not translate to Bharat being a civilisation-state. In other words, a State that presides over a civilisation is not a civilisation-state; instead, a State that is conscious of the civilisational character of its society and structures itself on civilisational lines is a civilisation-state. Therefore, one needs to go beyond the name Bharat to understand if the manner in which the Indian State has been structured and functions, is alive to the fact that the society it presides over is a federal civilisation, and not a nation in the European sense. Specifically, for the Indian State to be treated as an Indic civilisation-state, we would need to examine whether the State has been built on the fundamental building blocks of this civilisation, and whether its political and social infrastructure viewed through the prism of its Constitution is designed to replace the colonial consciousness with Indic consciousness.
    • J Sai Deepak - India that is Bharat_ Coloniality, Civilisation, Constitution-_ Bloomsbury India (2021)

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