Sunday, June 24, 2012


Este trabajo de Dani Rodrik es especialmente importante en relación con la cuestión de la necesidad de las orientaciones y niveles nacionales por falta de instituciones comunes, especialmente en la crisis europea, y porque dichas orientaciones y soluciones solo serán posibles si existe, por su articulación política, la base social para apoyarlas y defenderlas.

Los escenarios negativos que el autor menciona en un link previo están también ligados a las crisis de los diferentes Estados.Sobre todo en Europa.

Introducción y conclusiones:

The nation state has few friends these days. It is roundly viewed as an archaic construct that is at odds with 21st century realities. It has neither much relevance nor much power, analysts say. Increasingly, it is non-governmental organizations, global corporate social responsibility, or global governance on which pundits place their faith to achieve public purpose and social goals. It is common to portray national politicians as the sole beneficiary of the nation state, on which their privileges and lofty status depend. 

The assault on the nation state transcends traditional political divisions, and is one of the few things that unite economic liberals and socialists. “How may the economic unity of Europe be guaranteed, while preserving complete freedom of cultural development to the peoples living there?” asked Leon Trotsky in 1934. The answer was to get rid of the nation state: “The solution to this question can be reached ... by completely liberating productive forces from the fetters imposed upon them by the national state.” Trotsky’s answer sounds surprisingly modern in light of the euro zone’s current travails. It is one to which most neoclassical economists would subscribe.


Concluding remarks

The design of institutions is shaped by a fundamental trade-off. On the one hand, relationships and heterogeneity push governance down. On the other, the scale and scope benefits of market integration push governance up. A corner solution is rarely optimal. An intermediate outcome, a world divided into diverse polities, is the best that we can do.

Our failure to internalize the lessons of this simple point leads us to pursue dead ends. We push markets beyond what their governance can support. We set global rules that defy the underlying diversity in needs and preferences. We eviscerate the nation state without compensating improvements in governance elsewhere. The failure lies at the heart of globalization’s unaddressed ills as well as the decline in our democracies’ health.

The answer to my title “Who needs the (nation) state?” is: we all do."

Dani Rodrik

This is the revised version of the Roepke Lecture in Economic Geography delivered to the Association of American Geographers on February 25, 2012, to be published in Economic Geography in 2013. A version of this paper was also presented as the Arrow Lecture in Ethics and Leadership at Stanford University. I am grateful to Yuko Aoyama and Andres Rodriguez-Pose for their invitation and reactions, Roberto Unger for helpful discussions, John Agnew for very insightful comments, and participants at the Arrow lecture at Stanford University for suggestions.

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