My photo
Berlin, Frankfurt, Paris, Chapel Hill, Boston, Istanbul, Calgary, Washington DC, Austin, Tunis, Warszawa and counting

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Breaking of Nations

Robert Cooper is the elder statesman of European (EU) diplomacy. He is one of the very few - relatively - widely known EU administrators around. His book The Breaking of Nations - Order and Chaos in the Twenty-First Century is a essentially a recapitulation of his previous argument of a world separated into modern, post-modern and pre-moder countries. It as such provides the reader with nothing much additional new aside from well-known problems that even pre-modern states may post to modern/post-modern states. 

It still provides an interesting read with regard to the Eurocris and accompanying debates about sovereignty and the such. Most interestingly in this regard might be his (unintended) response to simplifying public debate figures such as Emmanuel Todd in France or Bernd Lucke in Germany but even national governments in general:
"Interests mean something different for the modern state and for its postmodern successor. The interests ... were essentially security interests ... with the EU [they] are essentially matters of policy preference and burden-sharing. There is no fundamental reason why in trade negotiations France should be ready to sacrifice the interests of its sofware companies in favour of its farmers; France’s ‘interests’ are defined by the political process."
Go here for a short version of effectively the same argument he lays out in his book.

No comments: