In This Review

After Authority: War, Peace, and Global Politics in the 21st Century
After Authority: War, Peace, and Global Politics in the 21st Century
By Ronnie D. Lipschutz
SUNY Press, 2000, 221 pp
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The historian Charles Tilly once famously observed that war made the state. But as war becomes increasingly unthinkable in the post-Cold War age, what will become of the state? In this extended essay on radical changes in the state's global role, Lipschutz argues that state authority and sovereignty were tightly linked to the geopolitical struggles of the last century. The Cold War further reinforced this authority as leaders exploited appeals to "national security" as their political trump card. But the rise of Cold War partnerships ironically created the conditions for globalization -- the very movement undermining the state today. For Lipschutz, traditional threats have not disappeared; they have just become more diffuse. This transformation of the security problem complicates governments' ability to protect their citizens and exposes the basic structures of state and society for all to see. Although vague in his forecasts, Lipschutz is correct that the Cold War's end will profoundly affect the national security underpinnings of Western governments.