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Hollowing out the 'nation-state' and multilevel governance.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter


Publication date2004
Host publicationA Handbook Of Comparative Social Policy
EditorsPatricia Kennett
Place of publicationCheltenham
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)1 84064 886 4
Original languageEnglish


Lively debates over the future of the nation-state resurfaced in the 1980s as scholars and politicians began to suggest that it had become too small to solve the world's big problems and too big to solve its little ones. These problems include: (1) the rise of global capitalism, (2) the emergence of a global risk society, especially regarding the environment, (3) the growth of identity politics and new social movements based on local and/or transnational issues; and (4) the threat of new forms of terrorism and dispersed network warfare. But what exactly these problems imply for the future of the state remains unclear. Prognoses include the development of an entirely new kind of state; the re-scaling of the nation-state's powers upwards, downwards or sideways; a shift from state-based government to network-based governance; or incremental changes in secondary aspects of the nation-state that leave its core intact.