In 1648, the Peace of Westphalia ended the 30 Years’ War and created a system in which each state had exclusive jurisdiction over its territory and domestic affairs. In the 19th century, nationalists pushed for unification of fragmented regions, such as Germany and Italy. However, in recent years, the idea of the nation state has come under increasing pressure, most notably from globalization, transnational organizations, and problems such as global warming that a nation cannot tackle alone. In a world with an increasingly globalized economy, the fragmentation of 200 separate nation-states (each with its own constitution, governmental structure, currency, jurisdictions, social model) is, at best, the lingering trace of another era’s political order. At its worst, it is a logical and economic aberration, with the potential to threaten the competitiveness of the whole.
On November 20, we will debate whether the nation is still the only form of political organization that allows citizens to have a democratic existence ? Is it the relevant scale to maintain the possibility of political rights in the age of globalization and new tribalism ? To what extent do we still need nation states ?
Come debate with us this Wednesday at 8pm in Hamilton 607 to find answers to these questions and more !