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Democracy, Internationalisation, Globalisation and the European Nation State

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Introduction

Question 1 It is undeniable that the state of world affairs has dramatically evolved since the end of the Second World War. More specifically, the surge of development in IT has been the chief reason that our world has become less a mosaic of nation-states and more a melting pot of societies, cultures, and associations whereby nation-states are inevitably bound to trans-national phenomena. As Cox notes, "globalization [generates] a more complex multi-level world political system, which implicitly challenges the old Westphalian assumption that 'a state is a state is a state'" (Cox, in Pierson, p.181). This work shall support this notion of globalization by highlighting two problems from Pierson, namely decreased anarchy in the global political arena, and the influence of the global economy on nation-states. These issues will be defined and then discussed in relation to Lindensj´┐Ż's conceptions of Realist democracy and Communitarian democracy respectively. Decreased anarchy refers to the marginalization of the autonomy of nation-states in the international order. The growing interdependence between nations across the globe has resulted in a redirection of respective national interests towards the sphere of global rather than domestic (Pierson 174). ...read more.

Middle

This sort of idyllic outlook on forming a democratic community would be difficult to practice even in the small, cohesive communities of Ancient Greece. The decreased anarchy of the international order today magnifies the difficulty of assimilating different people, groups, and ideas under a collective banner. To imagine what Lindensj´┐Ż refers to as a 'homelike community' seems like a far stretch seeing that an increasingly interdependent world melds such a sheer mass of different people, outlooks, and traditions. The scale of interdependency in today's world most certainly underpins the 'homelike' values necessary for effective Communitarian democracy especially where individuals' interests are drawn outside the domestic sphere. Perhaps the most influential factor working against the Westphalian concept of global politics is the nature of modern global markets. Today, domestic economies cannot escape the forces of the international economy (Pierson 171). As Cox notes, "...economic globalization has placed constraints upon the autonomy of states and, increasingly, states must become the instruments for adjusting national economic activities to the exigencies of the global economy" (Cox, in Pierson 179). This excerpt makes a direct reference to a lessening of state autonomy due to global economies. ...read more.

Conclusion

relations, the citizenry of the world will realize a new possibility to voice concerns on an international level (Archibugi et al, in Holden 137). For people in Realist democracies this means that political involvement that was once only a mere 'handing-over of power' to a representative is now a legitimate voice to be heard beyond the confines of the state. An important feature of Ghali's vision was the creation of UN Regional Organizations that would cater to civil society and make civil interests a higher priority. Falk's concept of stronger social activism (globalization-from-below) to combat global market forces (globalization-from-above) would assist the Communitarian goal of correcting the growing imbalance between private and public goods (Falk, in Holden 163,173). Communitarians would support the equalizing aspects of this arrangement since it would contribute better to the philosophy of allowing a community to form its objectives without external influences. For Falk, the reformation of states to find a better balance, "...between the logic of capital and priorities of its peoples" is paramount in the effort to promote more effective democracy. In both the Communitarian and Realist views, a reform of the international political order in this manner would be a step in the right direction. ...read more.

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