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Global capitalism and the state Globalization is a term that has come to be used in recent years increasingly frequently and arguably increasingly loosely In a close analysis of the term the author focuses on the concept of globalization as the transcendence rather than the mere crossing or opening of borders arguing that this interpretation offers the most distinctive and helpful insight into contemporary world affairs The article goes on to explore one of the key questions raised by this trend namely how the growth of supraterritorial space has altered capitalism in general and the role of the state within capitalism in particular The author concludes by suggesting that globalization poses a threat it is not as is often argued to the state itself but rather to democracy A number of commentators on globalization have recently speculated that the logic of modern economic development is making the state redundant The argument is hardly new Early in the twentieth century both Leninists and certain liberal internationalists forecast the demise of the state Functionalist theories of international integration reiterated the prediction in mid-century while some versions of what was called transnationalism recycled the argument in the 1970s In the latest revival several best-selling management consultants of the 1990s have suggested that with the contemporary advance of globalization the state has seen its day1 In a similar vein various public policy analysts have proposed that global companies are creating a world beyond states and nationalities2 As in previous rounds of this debate 1990s predictions of the end of the state have provoked insistent refutations For example in a series of publications Paul Hirst and Grahame Thompson have maintained that arguments of globalization are greatly exaggerated and that states retain many crucial capacities for governance3 In the realist tradition of international relations theory Stephen Krasner has affirmed that in the late twentieth century de facto state sovereignty has been strengthened rather than weakened4 Sociologists like
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