5 - The changing role of the State in the globalising world economy  pp. 56-70

The changing role of the State in the globalising world economy

By Jost Delbrück

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In the present worldwide financial crisis with its various disastrous impacts on the world economy, we can observe a renewed interest in the role of the State as a regulating actor in the world economy. Put more precisely, the question is whether we are facing a movement toward a State-centred protectionism. There is already a handy catchword around for this alleged movement – i.e. ‘de-globalisation’. If this concept is to be understood as a plea for the reinstatement of the State as the main regulatory actor in the world economy which should and could play the dominant role in the struggle to overcome the consequences of the present worldwide financial crisis, the question must be answered whether today's States actually are still in a position to live up to this gigantic task on their own.

In other words, the question must be answered as to whether present-day States still fit the criteria of the traditional concept of the sovereign territorial nation-state as such criteria had been defined in international law and political theory in the early twentieth century. Only if this would be the case could we then consider ‘de-globalisation’ to be a possibly viable concept for solving the present economic and financial crisis, and potential future ones. The following considerations will proceed in three steps: a short look at the historic role of States in the regulation of their economies will be followed by an analysis of how the means and institutions of the State that fulfil public tasks have changed because of the impact of globalisation.


Reference Title: Books

Reference Type: bibliography

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Reference Title: Articles

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Reference Title: Book reviews

Reference Type: bibliography

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Reference Title: Tributes

Reference Type: bibliography

‘ Leo Gross (1903–90)’, American Journal of International Law, 85 (1991), 149–50
‘ Louis Loss ’, Harvard Law Review, 111 (1998), 2144–6
‘ David Westfall ’, Harvard Law Review, 119 (2006), 956–8
‘ Louis Sohn ’, Harvard Journal of International Law, 48 (2007), 19–21