Internationalization: Nation-States Remain Legitimate, New Study Shows

The literature on globalization and the democratic nation state is dominated by a crisis diagnosis: Economic and political internationalization, the argument goes, are responsible for a waning state capacity. Yet what links internationalization with changing perceptions and evaluations of legitimacy? While there are plausible normative accounts of internationalization effects on the democratic nation state and its legitimacy, empirical perspectives on the link between internationalization and legitimacy are few and far between. In this book chapter, Henning Schmidtke and co-authors draw on a content analysis of legitimation discourses in the quality press of two EU member states (Germany, United Kingdom) and two democracies outside the EU (Switzerland, the United States) over a ten-year period (1998-2007). Their analysis suggests that internationalization has no uniform effect on the ascription or denial of legitimacy in the public spheres of the four examined countries. As a result, it does not foster a general decline of state legitimacy.

Sebastian Haunss, Henning Schmidtke & Steffen Schneider (2015), ‘Internationalization and the Discursive Legitimation of the Democratic Nation State’, In State Transformations in OECD Countries: Dimensions, Driving Forces and Trajectories, edited by Heinz Rothgang and Steffen Schneider, pp.  pp.167–186 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan).

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