Globalization, Power and Authority

The basic argument of this article is that the globalization perspective in all of its variations (and there are many) exaggerates the amount of change in the contemporary global system. States are for the most part exactly what they have always been, the most important actors in the modern international system -- which is not to argue that they are now, or have ever been, immune to influence from other actors or that they have ever been able to fully control economic or other kinds of transactions. The hyperglobalist argument -- which sees states as fundamentally outmoded, incapable of carrying on the basic functions of governance -- is wrong. Transformationist arguments are also for the most part incorrect, but here it is necessary to distinguish among different kinds of claims, which are obfuscated by the emphasis on complexity, interconnectedness and multiple actors.