Chapter 5: States in question
The traditional concept of the state needs to be revisited, as it is commonly and too simply considered as a synonym of political system. However, it has particularities, historical and cultural roots, while it is currently challenged by many other kinds of political order and does not match all the historical lineages of politics. In its European conception, it is tightly related to territory, sovereignty, and power competition which was likened by Hobbes to a “gladiator struggle.” This chapter asks: is this competition nowadays as obvious as it was previously? Has the state kept its original capacity? Or, has power become powerless? Is hegemony still possible? How can we then understand the so-called “resilience of the state”? How to revisit the main orientations of the subsequent foreign policy? How can “weakness politics” sometimes take the place of the well-known “power politics”?
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