Liberal international thought contains a long-standing tradition of portraying the imminent decline of the nation-state. After all, some thinkers claim, national governments can no longer control their individual economies, as a result of economic globalization. The nation-state has become an anachronism. It stands in the way of a peaceful and prosperous cosmopolitan world order. It is a war organization, levying excessive and unfair taxes, hampering international communication and exchange. This volume identifies three prominent liberal proponents of this theme, Richard Cobden, David Mitrany, and Kenichi Ohmae. It criticizes their ideas by analyzing the coherence of their thought. It also takes special note of the implications of state failure to control economic growth and market exigencies for international relations. The book is divided in three sections. The first analyzes Cobden, Mitrany, and Ohmae's empirical claims, the second takes stock of their normative judgments, and the third examines their predictive assertions. Contrary to how the notion of state decline has been interpreted, this study shows that it is more of a desire than an objective description of an empirically verifiable fact.

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