Decline of the nation-state

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.

2. In a regime of multinational corporations and weak nation-states, differences will become accentuated and will lead to international alliances and federations parallel to the multinational corporation. And even if a strong world federal government could be established, many problems can only be solved at the national and local level. If nation-state governments are too greatly weakened, the model for the future may be the urban crisis, where strong national corporations confront weak city governments. In short, there is a conflict at a fundamental level between national planning by political units and international planning by corporations that will assume major proportions as direct investment grows.

(D) Detailed problems