Globalization and Decline of State

Topics: Globalization, Economics, United States Pages: 6 (1878 words) Published: November 5, 2013
Introduction.
A considerable issue in the discipline of International Relations is the role of state. It is generally acknowledged that the constant transformation of society and economy has been oc-curring throughout the history. These changes could not pass side the condition of state in the world politics. According to Creveld (1999), since the middle of the seventeenth century, the institution of state has been the most dominant actor in international relations. However, over the past few decades it may seem that the state has lost its status. The outbreak of the intense global-ization has forced scholars to question the relevance of the state in the modern era. This essay will focus on the analysis of the nature of the decline of state in the globalized world and the question of the existence of such decline. After defining the necessary concepts of ‘state’ and ‘globalization’, it will discuss the arguments for and then against the state decline phenomenon and the significance of globalization in it. Overall, although it might seem that globalization has caused the decline of the state, it is more likely that the state has transformed in its functionality but not in status.

Defining ‘state’ and ‘globalization’.
The term ‘state’ may be interpreted from various perspectives. It is often said that it is Thomas Hobbes, a famous realist, who invented and defined the term ‘state’ (Creveld, 1999). Hobbes (1660; cited in Korab-Karpowicz, 2013) discusses that states ‘for their own security en-large their dominions upon fear of invasion or assistance that may be given to invaders’. Thus, realists consider the state is a rational structure seeking to maximize power and national interest within both domestic and foreign policies. A famous German idealist Max Weber defines state as a combination of institutions possessing a monopoly on rule making and the legal em-ployment of military force within a limited territory (Calhoun, 2002). Moreover, he stresses that, instead of possessing an absolute power and the monopoly on violence, states are actually limited in their actions by the legitimacy and public opinion (Brown and Ainley, 2009). The more radical but not the less valuable definition is presented by Vladimir Lenin (1917) inspired by the ideas of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. He argues that ‘the state is a product and a manifestation of the irreconcilability of class antagonisms the state arises where, when and insofar as class an-tagonism objectively cannot be reconciled’. From Lenin’s perspective, state is the establishment of an organized violence, which is controlled by the ruling class of a country in order to maintain its domination (Lenin, 1917; cited in The Encyclopedia of Marxism, 2008). Although the definitions above are slanted distinctively, they still have several similar features. There are three main elements on which all theorists tend to converge. Firstly, state is a group of people that have established an association in order to retain social order. Secondly, there is a set bounded territory within the state. Thirdly, it has a prerogative to produce laws and take violent actions. This prerogative may also be called ‘sovereignty’ (Law and Martin, 2009). For the purpose of the essay, these three features will be taken as the basic and theoretically uni-versal characterizing points of the notion. ‘Globalization’ neither is a univocal notion nor is it a process that could be determined distinctively with a beginning and an end. On the contrary, it is a significant topic of vast contro-versy, on the definition of which most academics struggle. However, many of them attempted to define globalization variously with relative success. According to Fulcher (2011), ‘Globalization refers to a complex of interrelated processes, which have in common the idea that relationships and organizations have increasingly spread across the world, bringing about...
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