Has globalization destroyed the nation-state?
By Darragh McCashin
It is too extreme to suggest that globalization has destroyed (or is destroying) the nation-state. Insofar as this essay adopts this suggestion, it is undeniable though that the nation-state has been at least weakened, and has changed in various ways. Certainly, in light of the presentation on the numerous differing definitions of the globalization phenomena, itdoes appear narrow-minded to state that the nation-state is destroyed. Also, what exactlyis a nation-state? This too is a debated question. In my view, it is apparent that the
today is under more threat than the
which is merely acquiring new challengingtasks, at least regarding population’s cultural identity. To support these viewpoints, I willoffer a discussion on the neglected area of culture and identity, welfare state survival andsome research on nation-state strengths. Some parts of the literature may be guilty of over-indulging in purely economic globalization, which I will largely avoid. This is because only a broad view and awareness of the many interpretations of globalization canyield the most useful response to the essays complex question.
Tackling the definitions: What is globalization? What is the nation-state?
Globalization is a multifaceted phenomenon which is now being referred to and debatedfrequently within the media, academia and thus the public consciousness, with noconsensus surrounding what it is precisely. Nor is the location of a neutral standpointeasy to come by. The purpose of this section is to briefly show the complexity of thedebate by dissecting the essay question. More importantly, my interpretation of whatglobalization means in the midst of this complexity, is intended to lay the foundationfrom which this essay will work from. This allows for a clearer picture of what myinterpretation of globalization is (and is not), and how it is related to answering thenation-state question.To start, the rough definition many agree with (to some degree) is that globalization hassomething to do with the thesis that we all now live in one world (Giddens, 1999: 7), aworld of increasing interdependence (Giddens, 2006). Even still, there are dissatisfactionswith this simplistic definition. Robertson (1992: 8) believes globalization refers both tothe compression of the world and the intensification of consciousness of the world as awhole. It does not simply refer to the objectivity of the increasing interconnectednessclaim. It also refers to cultural and subjective matter, namely, the scope and depth of consciousness of the world as a single location. Matters are complicated further by thefact that the definition(s) of globalization may serve different purposes at the same time,and globalization is in the making and may be subject to periodic forms of un-making or even re-invention (Holton, 2005); hence the need for tackling the definitional issues.There are doubts as to whether it exists at all. In fact, when raising this point, it isinteresting to note that
The Cambridge Dictionary of Sociology
describes globalisation as‘a new world order’ (Turner, 2005: 245). However, some argue that it is not new, nor is ita Western concept, because the processes of globalization have been occurring for 1