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The World of States
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Book description

Without nation-states Covid-19, climate change, international cyberattacks, and other threats would go unchecked. In The World of States, John L. Campbell and John A. Hall challenge the view that nation-states have lost their relevance in the context of globalization and rising nationalism. The book traces how states evolved historically, how contemporary states differ from one another, and the interactions between them. States today confront a host of challenges, but two features make some states more effective than others: institutional arrangement and national identity. The second edition has been updated to discuss why the BRICS countries (with the exception of China) are no longer the rising powers they were once thought to be; the effects of Brexit on the European Union; the legacy of the Trump administration for US politics and hegemony; and how the coronavirus may upset the world of states going forward.


‘A surefooted, well-written, and highly intelligent survey of states across the world. It is easily the best account of modern states because it is fully aware of both the great diversity of states and their inter-relations in a global system of states.'

Michael Mann - University of California, Los Angeles

‘Two maestros of political sociology with global reach, John Campbell and John A. Hall, have written the best available and highly accessible account of the state, in the course of which they courteously dispose of many of the clichés of our time.'

Brendan O'Leary - University of Pennsylvania

‘Full of original insights, evidence, and wisdom, this second edition of The World of States offers us the most definitive account of today's world order and disorder. Campbell and Hall convincingly show that, while nation states continue to be centers of power and social cohesion, our future will depend on their abilities to manage growing internal tensions and shifts in the international balance of power. Ambitious and convincing, this is social and political writing at its best.'

Francesco Duina - Bates College

‘John Campbell and John Hall have written an audaciously provocative and compelling book. Their argument is deceptively simple – states matter as much as ever, despite intensifying economic globalization and European integration. This book is a must read for specialists and general readers who are interested in understanding the contours of global politics.'

Grzegorz Ekiert - Harvard University

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  • 1 - The Past
    pp 16-54


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