In a global economy and culture, the autonomy of a national economy and culture is called into question. Yet the nation-state retains legitimate authority, for the most part, in politics. Legitimacy and power, however, are not identical. As Raymond Williams (1984: 5) once remarked, ‘the nation-state, for all sorts of purposes, is too large and too small’. Trans national communication flows bypass the regulatory powers of the nation state. At the same time, ‘the nation’ tends to restrict the expression of sub national identities within the territorial domain of the overarching state. A sense of national belonging is not, though, the mere figment of a redundant political imagination in a global/local matrix. Williams satirised it as follows:
There was this Englishman who worked in the London office of a multinational corporation based in the United States. He drove home one evening in his Japanese car. His wife, who worked in a firm which imported German kitchen equipment, was already at home. Her small Italian car was often quicker through the traffic. After a meal which included New Zealand lamb, Californian carrots, Mexican honey, French cheese and Spanish wine, they settled down to watch a programme on their television set, which had been made in Finland. The programme was a retrospective celebration of the war to recap ture the Falkland Islands. As they watched it they felt warmly patri otic, and very proud to be British.