Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
No society, be it traditional or modern, can exist and survive without the active engagement of its members in the various domains of life that have resulted from processes of social differentiation and that, in toto, constitute societies and polities at large. This does not imply that every member of any given society has to be active in each domain. What it means, however, is that each domain encompasses individuals (the microlevel), an intermediary structure (the mesolevel) linking individuals and institutions in that domain, and systemic elements crystallized in rules and institutions regulating the particular domain in question (the macrolevel). Especially in modern times, these three levels are complemented by a fourth overarching level linking units in various ways (globalization is a particular phenomenon resulting from such linking processes). Notwithstanding the fact that presently there is an ongoing debate in political science on the shrinking role of the nation-state, the ...