The decline of the Nation-states system:
The free flow of goods, services, people and knowledge increase dependence on each other. This soft the hard border system of the past and people realized that both sides can benefit from free trade and services. The failure of communist utopia shows to the world that close borders and isolation can be destructive for a nation-state. Globalization created more wealth and health. The sovereign behaviour of the nation-states becoming softer and it is very difficult for a nation-state to maintain it. The rise of sovereign nation-states number increased since WWII. Several developments in the international system limited the sovereign behaviour of the nation-states, These include the rise of the non-state actors and interdependence among nation-states.
The rising welfare state system commitment to provide services and benefits to its citizens greatly divert the resources from war. The mass production of material goods increases the interdependence of nation-states on each other. War is profitable for a few but trade is for everyone. This changed the nation-state behaviour to be more flexible in its sovereign behaviour. The rich states are dependent on the poor states for purchasing raw materials and a market for the products. The poor states found it essential for their population. These interdependencies created non-states actors and regional agencies which is softening the rigid behaviours of nation-states.
Universalism is another factor contributing to the decline of the nation-state system. It is difficult for a nations state to ignore the interests of other nations and secure its own interest. So each nation-state tries to secure its interest within the framework of international objectives of peace and security. Killing snake without breaking the stick. In the age of internationalism, nation-states found it essential to align their interests with other states. Even powerful nations are finding it difficult to hinder the interest of others.
Nation-states found it very hard to secure individually their development objectives. It is essential to cooperate on a regional and international level. This gives rise to organizations like ASEAN, SAARC and the European Union. These organizations then cooperate with each other making it easy for every Nation-states to promote their interest along with others. Regional integration is considered to be a factor in the decline of the Nation-states system. The regional integration limits the rigid sovereign behaviour of Nation-states.
The nuclear age had a significant effect on the Nation-states system. Those states which have the meaning of overkilling are still not in a position to impose their terms. The non-nuclear states found it difficult and are defenceless against nuclear aggression. Nation-states possessing nuclear weapons cannot bear the consequences of a nuclear war. Through a nuclear war, even the superpower cannot secure its interests. The only way out is cooperation. Disputes settlements cannot be achieved through war. As we see the failure of wars like Indo-Pak, Arab Israel and Iran-Iraq clearly give a message that nation-states cannot achieve their interests by force.
The Nation-state system can be seen as a theoretical concept. The concept of sovereignty and equality between nation-states was the fundamental factor. But there is no equality when it comes to the security council decision because it is controlled by five vetoes, USA, Russia, UK, France and China. These states can favour other Nation-states for their own interest or give penalties because of their rivalry.
Globalisation is putting limitations on Nation-states. Because it is beneficial for everyone to take part in it. States have to accept the terms and conditions of organizations like WTO to secure their membership. These may be reducing some of their sovereign rights.
All these factors are contributing to the decline of Nation-state systems. But without accepting these factors isolated states will have to be left in past and the people for whom these states were created will have to suffer.