The Declining Power of the Nation State in a World of Interconnectivity, Transnational Orders and Cyberspace


Developments of faster means of communication and transport, as well as the growth of international trade had a huge impact on the predefined conception of nation states. One observable factor of globalization is a power shift, away from national governments towards NGOs, communities or companies. Rules applied to international trade have always been to a great extend made outside of state legislation and have been a vast area of research under the headline of the 'new lex mercatoria' or international commercial law. Creation of the internet as a platform for private actors has furthered a development which is similar to that of international commercial law: the growth of privately regulated spheres beyond the control of national governments. Examples include online dispute resolution mechanisms, the internet domain name system or the creation of new virtual currencies (most notably Bitcoin). Cyberspace follows its own rules, governance principles and conflict resolution mechanisms, which disregard national borders and are for the most part created by private actors (communities or corporations), rather than governmental agencies. These so called transnational legal, political and economic systems pose a serious challenge to the traditional notion of nation states. At the same time they raise questions about legitimacy, accountability and justice. This paper will address the question whether this development is desirable and what role the nation state can and should play in it.

Author Information
Pascal Soepper, Niigata University, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: ACERP2015
Stream: Ethics - Ethics

This paper is part of the ACERP2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon