Monday, January 19, 2009

Wither Nation States?

Fareed Zakeria has been pursuing his case for a while that in tomorrow’s world, we need much more formalized ‘intra-nation state’ arrangement to address the complex problems arising due to globalization and increasing mutual dependency among nation. On surface, there is hardly anything to argue about this since it is self evident. Zakeria being a smart journalist, he is able to present today’s economic issues, global warming, non-nation state terrorist players, immigration, health risks due to international travel and so on as examples why nation states are inadequate to address problems on their own.

This may be very well. But the question is when it means to take a decisive action to effect changes and more importantly, to set in motion mechanisms to enforce those decisions; do we have anything beyond nation-states? For a starter let us take today’s global economic challenges. It is a global recession where major national or regional (EU) economies are in flunk simultaneously. As was decided in G-20, national economies were expected to synchronize their responses. To what an extent such synchronization has happened? China continues to pump its export driven economy rather than putting in places reforms which will increase internal consumption. Japanese have resorted to dolling out Yens to public by increasing already High Mountain of debt. Indians unable to even address cases like Satyam where corrupt State government ensures that national agencies like SEBI (India’s equivalent of SEC) do not get hand on Satyam executives. In Europe, the differing (read higher) bond rates for Spain and Italy for their nation debts are putting tremendous pressure on any coherent continent wide strategy and bringing Euro under attack so much so that doubts of Euro’s sustenance are increasing. And as for Britain, ‘black swan’ scenario involves going to IMF for the bailout while politically PM Brown is assailed for doing too much of fire fighting without much of consistent policy framework. What all this amounts too? Rest of the world wants Uncle Sam to reinvigorate American Economy so that ignition to the world economic growth kicks in. And their faith is again on the American State. There is nothing of any worth while ‘beyond nation state’ which is coming too rescue.

The point is human organization as ‘nation state’ for all practical purposes the only strongest force available for humanity to effect changes and to address challenges.

Long live the Washington and Jefferson’s State – American State.

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