Summary of The demise of the nation state

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The demise of the nation state summary


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Is the era of the sovereign nation-state coming to a close? As globalization and technology continue to undercut the ability of national governments to control their economies and information flows, some countries are responding by gravitating toward extreme nationalism and strongmen leaders; others are embracing transnational movements as an alternative to national politics. British writer Rana Dasgupta argues that the present international order based on sovereign nation-states is fundamentally at odds with 21st century global realities. In an essay for The Guardian, he calls for a total re-imagining of the global order.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why the present international order is failing, 
  • Why nation-states have become increasingly weak and ineffective, and
  • How a new international order might function. 

About the Author

Rana Dasgupta is a British Indian novelist and essayist. His next book, After Nations, will appear in 2019.



The modern international order, which is made up of sovereign nation-states, faces a growing crisis. Today, governments show an increasing inability to control their national economies, politics and information flows. This loss of both practical and ideological authority is leading people around the world to, variously, embrace populism, authoritarianism or transnational alternatives to the nation-state. 

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