Not Signed-In
Which clippings match 'Nation State' keyword pg.1 of 1
15 JUNE 2009

A globally networked system of non-governmental actors

"'Globalization' is a term that has only recently become widespread – whereas the phenomenon that it designates can be traced back far into the past. Therefore, it was rightly emphasized by George Modelski that (political) processes of globalization had already begun in the Middle Ages (see 17). Thus, in the course of time, there came about a globally networked system of states. Today there exists alongside of and parallel with the state–centred system of international politics, which is represented by institutions like the 'United Nations', an even more powerful globally networked multi–centric system of non–governmental actors (see 18 as well as 19), for which the term 'World–Society' (20) possesses a certain justification (see also 21). However, the politics of the institutional (nation–)state lag behind especially this latest development (see 22: 179) and they therefore contribute to their own critical scrutiny and decline. That's true though it does not mean the final 'End of Nation State' (23): Even in view of efforts towards regionalisation, as in the 'European Union', the nation state has not yet been replaced as the defining structural moment of world politics (see e.g. 24 and 25).

Naturally, when speaking of globalization, we – whether euphorically or in a critical vein – most often refer to economic processes rather than the sphere of politics. Here, too, 'real' history does not begin at present but can be traced far back into the past. For already in antiquity, but especially since early modern times, there existed strong commercial relations, which reached as far as the world known at that time (see 26: ch. 2). Particularly in the era of imperialism, in the 19th century, worldwide commerce was flourishing – because the gold standard provided for security and the 'unequal exchange' (Emmanuel) between the colonies and the imperialist nations guaranteed enormous profits (see 26). It is not surprising therefore that Marx and Engels in 'The Communist Manifesto' could already in 1848 portray a picture of a highly globalized economy. Yet, the development of international trade suffered considerable setbacks – on account of the First World War, which resulted in the total breakdown of the gold standard, and then once again in the 1970s, evoked by the oil crisis. This relative level of internationalization/ globalization attained in the commercial sector at the beginning of the 20th century would only be reached again in the middle of the 1980s (see 27)."
(Anil K. Jain, Heiner Keupp, Renate Höfer, Wolfgang Kraus)


1980sAnil Jain • Communist Manifesto • Frederick Engels • George Modelski • globalisationHeiner Keupp • internationalization • Karl Marxmiddle agesnation statenetwork societypost-traditionalsocietyUnited NationsWolfgang Kraus • World-Society


Simon Perkins
09 DECEMBER 2008

The role of information in transforming society (in 14th Century England)

"The Medieval Church occupied much of the space now taken by the nation state. It administered education and healthcare, undertook great public projects, managed large enterprises and had its own systems of taxation and justice. It saw people through life from entry to exit. Like any over–stretched organization, the Church really wanted passive acquiescence from its membership rather than participatory enthusiasm. The Bible was a sort of manifesto commitment that the Church reserved the right to interpret, promising not better public services or lower taxes but eternal life. Instead of having to finance a City Academy, how about a new Lady Chapel? Instead of a seat on a red leather bench, you got a corporate box in the kingdom of heaven.

[John] Wyclif and his friends did not approve. They thought the public deserved the news direct, the good news that is – the Vulgate. Of course, when the good book was painstakingly hand–written and in Latin, this made it practically impossible to read yourself. So Wyclif and his associates got translating. If God could be made to speak English, the English might be better made to hear him. This was an argument about the role of information in transforming society."
(Adrian Monck, February 11, 2007)


Simon Perkins

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