In This Review

The Myth of the Powerless State
The Myth of the Powerless State
By Linda Weiss
Cornell University Press, 1998, 256 pp.

A welcome contribution to the ongoing debate over globalization. Weiss vigorously challenges the view that global economic interdependence is eating away the modern state and argues that the opposite is the case: states that manage to deepen economic interdependence can also forge sophisticated and flexible ties with domestic groups. More importantly, responding to globalization will likely push states to become more efficient and capable, enhancing their ability to guide domestic economic policy. Besides, broad generalizations about the rise and fall of the state miss the point. States were never as powerful in the past as conventional wisdom suggests, and the degree of state power has always fluctuated throughout history. Weiss concludes that even if modern globalization is the most significant force in the world, the state is as much midwife as victim. This book provides the best general discussion of state power yet available.