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Nation State in Decline

In the early stages of Globalization (1600 -1950s especially) Nation States were
very powerful – Colonialism for example was led by European governments and
monarchies and the most serious conflicts tended to be between nation states –
culminating in World War 2. However, since then, many globalization theorists argue that
increasing global flows in trade and communications have reduced the relative power of
Nation States.

Evidence for the power of Nation States declining

 National Governments increasingly face problems that are too big for them to deal
with on their own.
 The United Nations and The Universal Declaration of Human Rights – limits the
power of Nations to restrict the freedoms of individuals.
 Global Social Movements such as the green movement and the occupy movement
are increasingly interconnected.
 Factors which are widely thought to drive nation state decline under globalization
are policy competition and weakened ability to implement policy within nation
states in the presence of globalization.
 Some Transnational Corporations are bigger than Nation States – and so wield
power over them.
 The power of United Nations to make any real change in the world is limited.

Globalization Favors Westernization

One commonly recognized effect of globalization is that it favors Westernization,

meaning that other nation-states are at a disadvantage when dealing with the Americas
and Europe. This is particularly true in the agricultural industry, in which second- and
third-world nations face competition from Western companies. Another potential effect is
that nation-states are forced to examine their economic policies in light of the many
challenges and opportunities that multinational corporations and other entities of
international commerce present.
Multinational corporations, in particular, challenge nation-states to confront the
unique issue of foreign direct investments, forcing nation-states to determine how much
international influence they allow in their economies. Globalization also creates a sense
of interdependence among nations, which could create an imbalance of power among
nations of differing economic strengths.

The role of the nation-state in a global world is largely a regulatory one as the chief
factor in global interdependence. While the domestic role of the nation-state remains
largely unchanged, states that were previously isolated are now forced to engage with
one another to set international commerce policies. Through various economic
imbalances, these interactions may lead to diminished roles for some states and exalted
roles for others.