Globalization Is Overrated (or Why We Love Nation-States)

With revolutions in transport and communication, many predicted the nation-state would fade into irrelevance behind supranational organizations and multinational corporations. Wrong.

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Despite Europe's continent-wide currency crisis, a single country (Germany) is at the helm. It's just the latest proof that globalization has failed to make the nation-state irrelevant. In the aftermath of the financial crisis, who bailed out the banks? Who enacted monetary policy, rewrote regulatory reform, funded social safety nets and still receives the blame for everything? National governments, that's who! All this despite predictions that transport and communication revolutions would bring supranational organizations and multinational corporations to power. 

What's the Big Idea?

Despite this renewed importance of national governments, their reputation remains in tatters. Many economists view governments as undue barriers to international trade. But who would regulate the market in their absence? Democratically unaccountable supranational organizations, it seems. New ethicists also object to the nation-state, preferring global citizens over nationalistic ones. Yet surveys show people identify more strongly with their nation than with their local community, let alone the global one.

Photo credit: shutterstock.com

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