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Beyond the State

Westfaelischer Friede in Muenster (Gerard Terborch 1648), courtesy of Den_fjättrade_ankan/Wikimedia Commons
Public Domain Public Domain

Westfaelischer Friede in Muenster (Gerard Terborch 1648)

For centuries, we’ve taken it for granted that the state has the ability to organize societies and, indeed, the world as we know it. However, globalization’s ability to chip away at the power and influence of the state has led to new doubts and questions. For example, are the world’s mega-cities becoming more able to meet our security needs than the old Westphalian system? And further, is the emergence of increasingly powerful non-state actors necessarily a welcome relief from state interference? Well, if the growing strength and capabilities of organized crime groups are anything to go by, the jury should remain out on the wisdom of dismissing a tried and true way of organizing ourselves.


The State Is Here to Stay

06 Jan 2014 / Article

According to Alejandro Quiroz Flores, the modern state holds two comparative advantages over other forms of political organization – it is far better at directing large and complex societies, and it is better at structuring their international relations and security. More on «The State Is Here to Stay»


Insecurity and the Retrograde State

07 Jan 2014 / Article

What do global warming, prolonged periods of economic instability and faltering non-proliferation regimes have in common? According to Anthony Burke, they demonstrate the increasing inability of states to cope with major security threats. More on «Insecurity and the Retrograde State»


The ‘Responsibility to Respect’: Time to Look Beyond the Nation-State?

08 Jan 2014 / Article

Are states the ideal agents to implement security-driven initiatives such as the Responsibility to Protect (R2P)? Ellise Rietveld thinks that non-state actors could also perform this role, but let’s be honest – are they as durable as states and do they have a comparable track record for ‘getting their hands in dirty’? More on «The ‘Responsibility to Respect’: Time to Look Beyond the Nation-State? »


Nations Are No Longer Driving Globalization—Cities Are

09 Jan 2014 / Article

The world is now dotted with cities that have more economic weight and diplomatic influence than dozens of nation-states. As Michele Acuto and Parag Khanna see it, that has led to more innovative and entrepreneurial approaches to international cooperation than in the past. More on «Nations Are No Longer Driving Globalization—Cities Are»


Organized Crime - Above, Beyond and With the State

10 Jan 2014 / Article

Is there a dark side to the growing power and influence of the world’s mega-cities? According to the CSS’ Prem Mahadevan, they’ve provided organized crime groups with the opportunity to become more powerful than the state, either by providing ‘government’ services or increasing their ‘military’ might. More on «Organized Crime - Above, Beyond and With the State»


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