01_NationStateDead - The Nation-State is Dead Long Live the...

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The Nation-State is Dead. Long Live the Nation-State The Economist . London: Dec 23, 1995. Vol. 337, Iss. 7946; pg. 15, 4 pgs Dec 23, 1995. Vol. 337, Iss. 7946; pg. 15, 4 pgs NC LIVE Article URL: http://gateway.proquest.com/openurl?ctx_ver=z39.88- Readjust your expectations of the 2lst century. Neither the age of superstates, nor the end of all states, is about to happen THE nation-state is not what it used to be. Ignored by the global money markets, condescended to by great multinational corporations, at the mercy of intercontinental missiles, the poor thing can only look back with nostalgia to its days of glory, a century ago, when everybody knew what John Bull and Marianne and Germania and Uncle Sam stood for. It seems inconceivable that so diminished a creature can much longer continue to be the basic unit of international relations, the entity that signs treaties, joins alliances, defies enemies, goes to war. Surely the nationstate is in the process of being dissolved into something large, more powerful, more capable of coping with the consequences of modern technology: something that will be the new, stronger, basic unit of tomorrow's world? No, wait; hold on a minute. As Bertie Wooster said, in telling a tangled story it is fatal to begin by assuming that the customers know how matters got where they are. They will simply raise their eyebrows, and walk out on you. The current argument about the role of the nation-state in world affairs is an excellent example of the danger Bertie was pointing to. Why it isn't what it was For most people, the world is made up of 185 nation-states, on the current count of the United Nations: some huge, some tiny, some of them democracies, most of them not, but all equal in the eye of the world's law. In fact, a majority of these 185 places are not nation-states in the strict meaning of the term, but survivals of older, cruder forms of political life. Nevertheless, all 185 share two vital characteristics. They each cover separate portions of the earth's surface; and each has a government whose claim to speak for it is recognised by most governments of the other portions of the earth's surface. These are the basic units of geopolitics, the pieces on the international chessboard, the essential components of the fearsome game known as foreign policy. The trouble is that, over the past halfcentury or so, these basic units have all, big or small, become less dominant, less independent and, in a way, less separate than they were in their prime. This is because of the arrival in the world of new forces, created by the technological discoveries of the 20th century, which have the power to move things visible and invisible from one part of the globe to another whether any nationstate likes it or not. These forces take three main forms, all of which have to some extent eroded the nation-state's autonomy. In economics, the growing ease and cheapness of moving goods from one place to another has demolished any
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This note was uploaded on 08/06/2011 for the course SSC 305 taught by Professor Null during the Fall '11 term at GWU.

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01_NationStateDead - The Nation-State is Dead Long Live the...

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