In Chapter 2 a number of levels were identified which required exploration; one of these was that of the nation state. In Chapter 3 we identified a diversity of paths of development which suggests that the role of the nation state is not insignificant in shaping both internal patterns of development and of affecting the role each nation plays within the international division of labour. It is, therefore, necessary to devote some attention to the nature of the state and to the extent of its role in shaping or modifying change. The nation state, even if it has become somewhat less significant as an economic entity, has over the 1980s acquired greater significance as a social and political entity in many areas of the world. Changes in Eastern Europe have been characterised by the growth of nationalist movements which have resulted in political and social struggles for greater independence. Nation states thus retain a degree of independence and the ability to shape policy and practice within their territory.