chapter  7
20 Pages

States of the twenty-first century

It is surely clear by now that modern states are very far from ‘withering away’. The earliest years of the new century give us plenty of evidence of the enduring importance of the state in its traditional form, quintessentially in the shape of the USA. Yet the environment of states’ action is clearly changing radically and, in some instances, swiftly. In this chapter, we explore this changing environment and establish that political circumstances are subject to change both ‘domestically’ and ‘globally’ (in as much as these two can still be usefully distinguished). In what follows, we proceed from changes in the ‘internal’ environment of states through the regional/intergovernmental level towards an assessment of the new global framework. We shall finish by considering one of the first really radical and truly global analyses of states’ governance in the new century – Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s (2000) epic Empire.