22 November 2007

The Postmodern State, Security and World Order

The Postmodern State and the World Order originally written in 1996 and revised in 2000, and “The Postmodern State” recently published in a collection entitled Re-ordering the World: The Long-term Implications of September 11 (Leonard, 2002), Cooper has exerted tremendous influence on Tony Blair’s foreign policy outlook. The New Republic describes Cooper as the foremost commentator on strategic issues of our age, and Cooper’s diagnosis of the era we live in has taken on the power of prophecy after the events of September 11.

Cooper argues that the year 1989 marked a turning point in European history. 1989 not only marked the end of the Cold War but, perhaps, more fundamentally a change in the European state system: it marked the end of the balance-of-power system in Europe. What emerged after 1989 is not a re-arrangement of the old system but an entirely new system based on a new form of statehood, which Cooper calls the postmodern state. (Bobbit calls it The Market-State*)

With the emergence of the postmodern state, we now live in an international system comprised of three parts: the pre-modern world (of, for example, Somalia, Afghanistan or Liberia) where the state has lost its legitimate monopoly on the use of force and chaos reigns; the modern world where the classical state system remains intact, and; the postmodern world where the state system is collapsing and a new system is being born.

The new postmodern system of states is best characterized by the EC. It exhibits the following characteristics:

* The breakdown of the distinction between domestic and foreign affairs
* Mutual interference in (traditional) domestic affairs and mutual surveillance
* The rejection of force for resolving disputes and the consequent codification of rules of behaviour, rules that are self-enforced because all EC states have an interest in maintaining the rule of law.
* The growing irrelevance of borders
* Security is based on transparency, mutual openness, interdependence and mutual vulnerability (Cooper, 2000, pp. 19-20)

Globalization ICAAP

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