Wednesday, January 30, 2002

Its Demise Was Greatly Exagerated - The Kolkata Libertarian has this interesting post-

Paul Cantor in a Reason Magazine interview says: terrorism may be one sign of the end of the nation-state.. Exactly..! A nation state is a response to political and military threats from other nation states. A terrorist networks primary target is usually the economic infrastructure of a nation state or state(s) it despises. In the short term, the response to this threat is coming from a conglomerate of nation states bound by similar economic objectives, not political ones. Otherwise a coalition of the US, Europe, Russia, Pakistan, India and the dozens of other politically disparate nations would never have survived. It is not unreasonable to imagine a slow crumbling of nation-state boundaries giving way to an economic organism better equipped to deal with the threats to its survival

I'll politely disagree. What is happening is governmental ad hocracy, where problems are (hopefully) met at the right level with the right set of tools. Fighting terrorist might be a global endeavor requiring cooperation between dozens of governments, using smaller-scaled, more expeditionary armies. There are trends towards economic integration but also trends towards more autonomy in local decision-making, with regional governments getting more authority in many places (the EU being a key exception). The nation-state may have more agreements with other nation-states and may, in some diverse areas, splinter into more homogeneous segments; I don't see it going away into either some vast world government (unless we are truly in the End Times) or split into anarchy.

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