The problem is not necessarily related with the idea weather the nation state is losing its power or not. It lies elsewhere, it lies in the definition of the nation state. Nowadays, the nation-state is perceived differently than, lets say it was during the cold war. The globalization, and latest technological developments have made people think and be felt as citizens of the world, or as known as cosmopolitanism.
If we consider only the context of corporations, than it is true that nation states have lost some of the influences that used to be main instruments or additional hands of governments in order to practice that power. For example, taxing corporations is not that easy anymore. Amazon, Google, and other corporations have most of their operations and income from the US but are declaring less and less taxes there thank to some SPVs and loose tax rules in Ireland.
Another thing to consider while keeping in mind corporations, are the capital flows so difficult to curb. The UN and USA capital sanctions on Iran, did not stop some of the biggest corporation in the world to provide Iran financial and technology services.
However, nation states have not lost power due to globalization in the sense that positions and circumstances change, because thanks to globalization the world is and feels so dynamic.
[quote style=”boxed”]In this sense, the nation state has to re-position itself, in order to get the best of the situation. Hereby the nation state did not lose independence due to globalization, but traded for better off scenarios.[/quote]
First, the trade off with respect to corporations makes them better surviving organizations that are seeking the best everywhere, and on the other hand makes governments more cautious and responsible toward businesses. The new realia put governments in the position of luring businesses and corporations into their representing countries.
Second, latest developments have proved that globalization has made the nation state stronger. Take countries like Egypt, Iran, Syria, etc. Thanks to pressure from this globalized world, chances offered and induced, tools like instant information platforms on the internet, etc, the fate of many countries has changed, some of them are under pressure to change for better. For example: the news that came from international media outlets, that Syrian chemical weapons would be destroyed in Albania, spurred a long and massive protest against such move, and against the fact that the Albanian government has kept it in the dark from the public opinion.
Owing to globalization elements and characteristics, an Egypt like protest was instantly organized and kept alive for more than 10 days. This made the nation state stronger, because not only showed to the world what a society is capable of doing but also showed to the government that the nation state is the core values and beliefs embodied in a society, and politicians have to respect them.
Third, the cliche saying “think global, act local” is not only a business model. The world should be embraced for e new set of regulation, and in order to do it, should have a certain mind set. For example, the regulation of the EU banking system will not work with a ‘one size fits all’ mindset. It has to emphasize local governments roles to keep track of local differences and characteristics of the market, hereby give power to nation states. Another aspect of this issue is the cultural backlash created from globalization. Some believe that this over integration is damaging cultures. Well, that is not true. The main element of globalization is cultural diversity. The importance of local cultures, traditions, habits, values, languages, etc, make the diversity fundamental, and make globalization all about emphasizing these ‘local’ elements. Hence, the nation state is crucial to globalization because of these nationalities that are crucial to this process.
It is beyond reason to think that is not going to be any trade-off. The nation-state will have to cease some of its powers, maybe it is for the best of all, even the nation state itself. Also some cultures have to adapt some elements, and some values will have to be reevaluated. In the end this is an incremental process of change that we all have to minimize potential damages and have to stay on guard for wrong direction of changes.
In conclusion, globalization needs nation-states that are re-positioned to embrace this modern and dynamic world, on the other hand nation-states need globalization not to survive but to thrive.