State (Political Science)

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  • A geographical area that possesses some degree of political sovereignty. Although the terms are often used interchangeably, a difference exists between a state and a nation. A state is a political entity, while a nation is a culturally homogeneous group of individuals. There are nation-states, multinational states, and subnational states. When the geographic boundaries of a nation and a state are one and the same, it is called a nation-state—for example, Japan. A multinational state consists of many nations composing a single state—for example, the United Kingdom. The United States is often considered a nation-state because the states share a common American culture.

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