The State in a Globalizing World
While nationalism as an overweening political force dates from the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the state, as a form of human political organization, predates modern times. Characterized historically by its monopolization of the “legitimate” use of violence, many believe that the modern state is being put under unprecedented stress. Some even suggest that we are witnessing its demise altogether. But is this dark view really justified? This dossier on “The State in a Globalizing World,” along with the previous one on nationalism, tries to grapple with this question in several ways.
We start with a brief historical overview of the six incarnations of the modern state since its emergence in the Italian Renaissance. We then examine two contemporary challenges to the state (and to its normative sovereignty) from the international law movement and political cosmopolitanism. Third, we turn to the example of Switzerland (which is of special relevance to us here at the ISN) for an illustration of how the sovereignty of one of the world's oldest states is being eroded by transnational forces. Finally, we consider some of the specific arguments being made about the future of the state, including evaluating Alex Wendt's claim that "a world state is inevitable."
02 Jan 2012 / Special Feature
Since its emergence in Renaissance Italy, the modern state has taken different forms. Today we begin our examination of the 'state' of the state by looking at its six modern historical incarnations. More on «The Six Historical Incarnations of the Modern State»
03 Jan 2012 / Special Feature
Legalization may be one of the most profound changes occurring in international relations today. Yet, "the move to law", as Goldstein, Kahler, Keohane and Slaughter (2000) call it, cannot be said to compromise state sovereignty. More on «The Problem with Sovereignty: The Modern State's Collision with the International Law Movement »
04 Jan 2012 / Special Feature
With the rise of what Phillip Bobbit calls the Market-State, traditional notions of sovereignty associated with the state are coming under pressure. Today we consider one major source of that pressure -- cosmopolitanism driven by non-governmental and inter-governmental organizations. More on «The Problem with Sovereignty: The Modern State's Collision with IO and NGO-Driven Cosmopolitanism»
05 Jan 2012 / Audio
Today we turn to Switzerland for an illustration of how the sovereignty of one of the world's oldest states is being eroded by transnational forces. Dr Wolf Linder, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Bern, discusses how Switzerland is nevertheless exposed to many of the same political and economic forces as EU member states. More on «The Europeanization of Switzerland»
24 Dec 2012 / Special Feature
While many people believe the future of the state is uncertain, Alexander Wendt suffers no such Hamlet-like doubts. Today we revisit his famous argument that "a world state is inevitable." More on «The Future of the State: Is A World State Inevitable?»