Decline of the nation-state

Experimental visualization of narrower problems

Most geo-political experts admit that global economic and political problems will inevitably erode national sovereignty. Symptoms of decline are: (1) the functions of the EEC, other regional groupings of nations and the UN are rapidly expanding; (2) general agreement that global action is the only way to deal with problems such as environmental pollution, drug trafficking, human rights abuses and terrorism; (3) disputes in virtually every world trouble spot can be traced, in part, to defects in the nature of various nation-states; (4) the world's major national economies are inextricably linked; (5) member nations of NATO have surrendered substantial powers in the area of sovereign defence; (6) movements for self-determination, autonomy and reunification across borders, together with ethnic, religious and political conflicts, represent attempts to resolve deep-rooted identity questions produced by the century-long dominance of nation-states; (7) the practical reality of "nation-state" is actually very rare: some legal "states" are actually multinational states or federations (USA, Canada, Switzerland, Sri Lanka etc.) and some "nations" have no state (Armenians, Crees, Kurds, Palestinians etc).


Out of the debris of the post-Soviet space in international life, the doctrine analyses, three new types of states emerged. First, there are now states – often former colonies – where in some sense the state has almost ceased to exist; a 'pre-modern' zone where the state has failed and a Hobbesian war of all against all is under way", for example, countries such as Somalia or Afghanistan. Second, there are the post-imperial, post-modern states which no longer think of security primarily in terms of conquest. Examples are few member countries of the European Union, Canada, Japan and the United States (despite its reservations over global interdependence or its unilateralism). Third there remain the traditional "modern" states which behave as states always have, following Machiavellian principles; one thinks of countries such as India, Pakistan and China.


Related Problems:
Ungovernable countries
Problem Type:
D: Detailed problems
Government Nation state
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
Date of last update
21.05.2019 – 18:17 CEST