What is the difference between State and Nation/comparison table

Nation and state are two terms with different definitions that are very often confused with each other. This is because in one of the meanings of nation it can be accepted as a synonym for state when talking about politics. However, this use depends on the context, since from the outset the first meaning of nation (cultural) is much more subjective than that of state. What is the difference between State and Nation?

Comparison table What is the difference between State and Nation?

Definition As for the state, it is defined as the set of governing bodies that constitute a sovereign country. These bodies are regularly protected by the will and free choice of their inhabitants, as well as by a constitution and other codes. What is the difference between State and Nation?

A state is limited by a well-defined geographic territory.

  1. Culturally, nation is defined as the set of people who share their ethnic origin, as well as certain cultural characteristics. Among the characteristics that are shared are language, race and religion, among others. This definition is subjective and depends on the community that describes it.
  2. In the political sense, it is defined as the subject in which the sovereignty of a state resides.
Legal-political delimitation A state can host one or more nations. On the other hand, when a state is identified as the seat of a nation, it is called a nation-state.
Examples An example could be the Swiss nation:

Switzerland is a small European country made up of people of different ancestry in addition to the Swiss. For example, there are people of German, French and Italian descent. In this case, it could be said that the Swiss state is made up of people of different origins. However, the vast majority accept and submit to the Swiss state of good disposition, since they are its citizens.

There are nations that in themselves do not belong to any state or, on the contrary, belong to more than one. Such is the case of the gypsies, who have dispersed throughout various countries of the world. Although many have a culture, history, customs and traditions in common, not all share the same nationality. This does not prevent them from identifying as members of the same cultural group. What is the difference between State and Nation?

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