It has been argued that the nation state was borne of the desire to give a sense of identity to a region and the people within it. This then evolved to include the ideals of said people, and a collective mythology that further helps define what makes that nation state what and who it is. Perhaps if all of humanity were able to coexist in perfect harmony with no thoughts of aggression or competition then the need for identity through the nation state might not be necessary, but it is..because it doesn’t. In today’s world, despite the supposed dissolution of borders that has occurred as a result of globalization, the national identity of a state has become more important than ever. Opening communication channels throughout the world has forced many nation-states to confront the identities that they so long trumpeted to others, often with unexpected results.
Nation-states exist to provide structure, functionality, cohesion, and regulation to the people and places of a world that is undeniably complex through the implementation of strategically crafted identities that differentiate them from others. The identity that a nation-state possesses (as a result of its own efforts to define or those of others) becomes dramatically more important in a globalized society that allows people from all walks of life to communicate with relative ease. In contemporary society, for example, the United States has long been heralded by its leaders and citizens as an extremely powerful world power. With countries (and their inhabitants) having the ability to relay messages to places that may otherwise be inaccessible, nation-states are more likely to be be called upon in the global theater to be proactive in situations outside of their own borders.
Members of nation-states can, and do, catch wind of outside crises through the globalized media landscape and try to rally their government to action. The Vietnam War, for example, became a mainstay of discussion and source of anger in American society after shocking coverage of the conflict was broadcast to domestic audiences. This resulted, as many people know, in widespread protests and calls for the government to be held accountable for its role in sending men to their deaths in a deeply-opposed war. Similarly, the current crises in Syria and across the Middle East have spurred discussion about what responsibility the US has to intervene owing to its reputation as a dominant world power. Media coverage from the front has become so predominant that today’s public perception of America’s inaction in Syria has evolved into an integral topic in political rhetoric. This arguably would not be the case in an insulated nation untouched by globalization.