Post -Westphalian Governance

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There have been assertions amongst some that the Westphalian nation-state system is dead. The truth of this statement is somewhat obscure and may be a bit extreme to what we are seeing in the international arena today. The fall of the bipolar world of the Cold War and the now diminishing power of the United States which is coinciding with the rise of smaller powers have many questioning what the world system is going to look like. Add to this the rise of the non-state actors that are having more and more influence in the international arena. Increasingly major policy areas are being influenced by international forces. The question posed here and which this paper endeavours to answer is, are we entering an era of post-Westphalian governance? The hypothesis put forward in this paper is two prong in nature as the answer to the question is yes, we are moving towards an era of post-Westphalian governance. However this answer is with slight hesitation as the shift towards it is happening slowly. The analysis is based on the idea of diffusion, which “refers to the processes where national policy makers voluntarily, that is without being formally obligated by international agreements or forced by external actors to adopt a certain policy innovation...” expressed by Per Olof Busch and Helge Jörgends. That is to say that in investigating post-Westphalian governance we will first examine the increasing trend of policy shifting towards certain global governors that takes away from the traditional role of the state that evolve out of the Treaty of Westphalia. This will be done by exploring the rise of the transnational networks, international organizations and supranational entities, and then rise of non state actors and the roles they have... ... middle of paper ... ...policy making have slowly eroded the rigid structure of state sovereignty. However the state still maintains a strong role in the international system and many areas still remain state-centric. Whether the state will continue to play a small role in the post-Westphalian era is yet to be discerned. What is certain is that the role of the state is slowly changing and may eventually lead to its demise. Works Cited Sasser, Erika N., Aseem Prakash, Benjamin Cashore and Graeme Auld, “Direct Targeting as an NGO Political Strategy: Examining Private Authority Regimes in the Forestry Sector,” Business and Politics 8:3 (2006), Slaughter, Anne-Marie “A New World Order” Prince University Press 2005, “Who Governs the Globe?” ed. Deborah D. Avant, Martha Finnemore and Susan K. Sell Cambridge University Press 2010,
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