States of Disorder

In the early part of the 21st century, organizations like the G8, the European Union and NATO welcomed new members, and then the global economic crisis of 2007-2008 stalled the quest for increasing regional and global order. Many countries have taken a nationalistic turn, with governments cracking down on critics, and that may encourage opposition. Philosopher John Gray has pointed out that government is supposed to protect its citizens, notes Philip Bobbit in this essay for New Statesman, who adds that “no constitutional order can withstand a failure to protect its citizens: either the public will turn on its state and demand a constitutional change, or outside forces will exploit the state’s weakness and subordinate that state to their will.” Bobbitt lists multiple global threats for the nation-state: instant communications that prevent nations from managing messages or culture, trade and finance that prevents control of national economies, control of markets over debt, human rights standards that make any deviation by states seem cruel and petty, as well as cross-border problems that require global coordination including disease and climate change. – YaleGlobal

States of Disorder

Nation-states that fail to protect citizens are under siege, even though an increasing number of global threats require more coordination not less
Philip Bobbitt
Tuesday, March 8, 2016

 Read the article from the New Statesman

Philip Bobbitt is the author of The Shield of Achilles: War, Peace and the Course of History and Terror and Consent: the Wars for the 21st Century (both published by Penguin).

© New Statesman 1913 - 2016

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