Axial Shift pp 477-482 | Cite as

Envoi: The Need for Jarlsberg Constitutions

  • Benjamen GussenEmail author


Today we see a tension in how sovereignty is shared between the local and global scales, post the nation-state. There are now two lines of attack on sovereignty. One proceeds through the idea of universitas. The other attacks the territoriality of the Westphalian contiguous-and-non-perforated state itself. A nuanced reading of the concept of sovereignty suggests that there are decisive economic arguments militating against the existence of colossal countries—at least as contiguous and exclusive jurisdictions. While some literature touches on the structure of the state and its relation to the economy, there is only an anemic treatment of what should be at the crux of constitutional designs. This clinging to the idea of the nation-state, even when moderated by decentralization, is anachronistic. It is imperative to understand that the issue is no longer the role of the nation-state. The concept of the hard-bordered nation-state is itself flawed. Not because of the ‘hard-border’ as much as the national scale. As discussed in this monograph, hard-borders could very well be still needed, but cannot function properly beyond the city-region scale (a city and its hinterland). The nation-state is moribund. It is becoming irrelevant, especially to economic activity. What is gaining ground is a new paradigm of continentalization where the global and local scales are effacing the need for national coagulations.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of LawSwinburne University of TechnologyMelbourneAustralia

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