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Nation State - Essay Example

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Nation State

Our purpose is to determine the extent to which "new war" and "new terrorism"are responsible for state failure or "failed states", and to do this a clear definition and understanding of all the three terms is essential.
Failed states have been defined by various theorists differently. For the purposes of our discussion, we will consider the theories of "failure to deliver political goods" and "emerging anarchy". The author of books like State Failure and State Weakness in a Time of Terror, Robert I. Rotberg, has summarized the theory of "failure to deliver political goods" in these terms:
"Nation-states exist to deliver political goods-security, education, health services, economic opportunity, environmental surveillance, a legal framework of order and a judicial system to administer it, and fundamental infrastructural requirements such as roads and communications facilities-to their citizens. Failed states honor these obligations in the breach. They increasingly forfeit their function as providers of political goods to warlords and other non-state actors. In other words, a failed state is no longer able or willing to perform the job of a nation-state in the modern world".( )

This means that a failed state is characterized by certain indicators like non-existent safety and security for citizens, crumbling health care, education, infrastructure and economy. This sort of situation can give rise to "emerging anarchy" where :

"Failed states" can be viewed as a problem of "emerging anarchy" where organized groups that lack many of the attributes of statehood must pay attention to the primary problem of their own security. In a state of emerging anarchy, or whenever the internal balance of power shifts, questions of control become pre-eminent. This strategic environment can cause hostile groups to fear extinction and yield to mob violence.

In a failed state where the lack of a central agency to provide law and order gives rise to warring factions struggling to fill the power vacuum, state failure is involved in a vicious circle with the outcomes of "new war". The term "new war" took on a new meaning after the events of September 11, but in fact, the term had already been coined in the 1990s by Mary Kaldor, who went on to explain her theory in magazines like The nation in November 2001:

These new wars have to be understood in the context of globalization. They involve transnational networks, based on political claims in the name of religion or ethnicity, through which ideas, money, arms and mercenaries are organized.....In the new wars, the goal is not military victory; it is political mobilization. Whereas in old-fashioned wars, people were mobilized to participate in the war effort, in the new wars, mobilizing people is the aim of the war effort, to expand the networks of extremism. In the new wars, battles are rare and violence is directed against civilians. The strategy is to gain political power through sowing fear and hatred, to create a climate of terror, to eliminate moderate voices and to defeat tolerance. And the goal is to obtain economic power as well.


The "new war" is more of a guerrilla warfare, a protracted long term affair, not a decisive one ...Show more

Summary

In a globalized world, the equations between nations and various agencies are changing almost on a daily basis spurred on by development in technology, increased ease and frequency of travel, and a worldwide media that is shrinking the world even further. In such an environment, it is but natural that the nature of human conflict would change as well, and political theory evolve to keep pace with it…
Author : cathrine17
Nation State essay example
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