In recent years, an increasing number of voices have been raised about the decline of the state. Many follow a broadly liberal line of thought positing that the state flounders as the world economy and transnational contacts grow. Hedge-fund managers, currency speculators, and other economic actors cripple national governments’ attempts at controlling their domestic markets and societies. Political leaders no longer have the power to steer the creation of wealth within their borders by setting interest rates and running successive large budget deficits without considering the reactions of global financial markets. The distinction between the international economy and national economies is breaking down. Indeed, the webs of communication and exchange created by trade, investments, and multinational corporations are giving rise to a new international community—based on business relationships and a sense of a common destiny—challenging the exclusivity of the national state. The idea that global market actors are in charge of, and drive economic, political, and social change—a result of economic growth and technological innovation, allowing individuals and companies to develop loyalties beyond the control and authority of states—is presented as almost conventional wisdom in newspapers and among the general public.1


International Relation Liberal Idea Global Financial Market State Decline Nonstate Actor 
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  1. 2.
    See, e.g., John Gerard Ruggie, “Territoriality and Beyond: Problematizing Modernity in International Relations,” International Organization (Vol. 47, No. 1, 1993), pp. 139–74; James N. Rosenau, Turbulence in World Politics: A Theory of Change and Continuity (London: Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1990); Dani Rodrik, Has Globalization Gone Too Far? (Washington, DC: Institute for InternationalGoogle Scholar
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© Per A. Hammarlund 2005

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