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COSMOPOLITANISM AND INTERNATIONALISM
Daniele Archibugi opens his eloquent case for a ‘cosmopoliticaldemocracy’ with an important concession. The world’s major depositories of power, he observes, remain national states that have ‘only increased in the scale and scope of their dominion’, within an inter-state system. He is right.  But nation-states are a key to understanding our present world not simply because they intractably persist, but also because in significant ways their political valences have altered. Such states continue to represent, as they have always done, jurisdictional acts of enclosure designed to perpetuate class privileges over specified regions. Today, however, they are also the terrains on which new constituencies can work along varied axes of power. They are, in fact, the only effective structures for doing so. National states impose labour discipline on the working poor and adjudicate disputes among local elites. These have always been among their primary functions. But in the current phase of worldwide neo-liberalhegemony, they also offer a manageable (albeit top-heavy) site within which the working poor can make limited claims on power, and have at least some opportunity to affect the way they are ruled.
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