Monday, October 20, 2014
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民族国家的重生

发自剑桥——我们这个时代的其中一个根本性谬论就是全球化正迫使民族国家走向消亡。我们被告知说交通与通讯技术革命已经消弭了边界,让世界变得更小。从跨国监管者网络,国际公民社会组织到多边机构,新的治理模型正在超越并取代那些只为单一国家服务的立法者。而据说各国国内的政策制定者们在面对全球市场之时也相当软弱无力。

但全球金融风暴却粉碎了这一谬论。是谁救助了银行,注入流动性,启动财政刺激计划,为失业者们提供了社会安全网,并以此遏制了灾难的进一步升级?是谁重新制定了金融市场的监管规则以避免重蹈覆辙?是谁在事态恶化之时承担了大部分罪责?答案总是那么一个:国家政府。跟它们比起来,G20,世界货币基金组织以及巴塞尔银行业监管委员会都只是些跑龙套的。

即便是在区域性机构势力相对强大的欧洲,主宰政策制定的还是国家利益和各国国内的政策制定者(很大程度上就是德国总理默克尔本人)。倘若默克尔不是那么着迷于对欧洲高负债国家采取紧缩政策,又如果她能说服自己的选民们接受另一种措施的话,欧元区的危机将都会以一种截然不同的形式发展。

但即便民族国家得以生还,其本身的声誉却依旧岌岌可危。知识界对它的攻击主要集中于两种形式:首先,在那些将政府视为商品,资本和人才自由流动障碍的经济学家眼中,必须阻止国内政策制定者利用法规和壁垒来干涉全球市场,市场能管好自己,并在自救的过程中建立一个更统一也更有效率的世界经济。

但除了民主国家之外,谁能提供市场所需的法则和监管?放任主义只能换来更多的金融危机和更强劲的政治反作用力。此外,这还需要将制定经济政策的任务委托给那些跨国机构里的技术官僚,这些人完全与政治绝缘——而这一立场又严重限制了民主以及政治问责制度的作用。

简而言之,放任主义和国际技术官僚并不能提供一个民族国家以外的可靠替代品。事实上,只要我们依然缺乏全球治理的有效机制,民族国家的失效对全球市场都没什么好处。

其次,有些世界伦理学家一直在谴责人为设立的国家边界。正如哲学家彼得·辛格(Peter Singer)所说,通讯革命已经产生了一个“全球受众”并因此为一种“全球伦理”打下了基础。如果我们以某个国家来定义自己,那么我们的道德也会局限于一个国家。而一旦我们逐步将自己与整个世界结合起来,我们的忠诚也将因此获得延伸。同样,诺贝尔经济学奖获得者阿马蒂亚·森(Amartya Sen)也认为我们拥有“多重身份定义”——民族的,宗教的,国家的,本地的,职业的和政治上的——而其中许多定义都是无国界的。

很难说上面这些说法有多少是一厢情愿,又有多少是基于身份定义和情感的真实转变。因为有调查发现人们对民族国家的情感依附依然相当强烈。

几年前,“世界价值观调查”行动询问了数十个国家的民众对本地社区,国家和世界整体的情感依附状态。不出意外,那些将自己视为某国公民的人数远远高于将自认世界公民者的数量。但令人吃惊的是,在美国、欧洲、印度,中国和其他大部分地区,人们更倾向于认为自己是某一国的公民,而不是属于某一当地社区。

而调查也发现年轻群体,高等教育群体,以及那些自认上流阶级的人都倾向于将自身与世界联系起来。但仍然难以界定哪些人类群体对全球社会的情感依附会高于对国家的依附。

虽然交通和通讯的成本都大幅下降,但地理的作用却并未磨灭。经济,社会和政治活动依然围绕着某些偏好,需求和历史轨迹展开,而这些基本要素互相之间差异极大,无法在全球层面上实现统一。

地理距离也跟半个世纪前一样深刻影响着经济交换行为。甚至连互联网也不像想象中那样没有边界:一项研究发现美国人更喜欢访问那些邻近国家的网站,即便在排除了语言,收入和其他因素的影响之后也是如此。

问题在于我们依然沉迷在民族国家衰落的谬论之中。政治领袖们以此为自己的软弱无力辩护,知识分子们仍在幻想着那个可行性极低的全球治理方略,而全球竞争中的失败者也把矛头指向移民或者进口产品。一旦说起重新向民主国家授权的话题时那些达官贵人们避之唯恐不及,好像这会传染瘟疫似的。

但可以肯定的是,情感依附和身份定义的地理因素不是固定不变的;事实上它一直都随历史的进程不断改变着。这意味着我们不应完全否定一种真正的全球意识以及跨国政治社群在未来出现的可能性。

但当今的挑战无法依靠那些尚未设立的机构来应对。今时今日,人们依然要从本国的政府那里寻求解决方案,而这也依然集体行动的最佳选项。民族国家可能是法国大革命留给我们的遗产,但它也是我们唯一能依靠的东西。

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  1. CommentedMario Ivan Juárez

    I agree that nation-state are still the best tool for collective action, but I also argue, as some Political leaders, that in some nation-states are not able to take control of their people's future. However, these Political leaders maintain the great part of political and distributive powers in the nation-state: they reinforce the link between politics and culture even if this not fit anymore with the economic conditions.

    I stress that we need to think of new criteria to shape the state. The new criteria must depend on economic conditions and not on the idea of nation. It is the only way for empowering the states (by giving them control of their material existence) and, therefore, empowering the people, strengthen democracy and reshape global economy.

    Nevertheless, in the mean time, some countries, in which Political leaders plead impotence, need to transfer political powers to regional institutions. In the case of Europe, I argue that European leaders must formulate a political discourse centered in the regional condition of justice in order to overtake both the nationalist rhetoric of the radical right and the undemocratic justification of national economic impotence.

    It is certain that nation-state is all that we have for now, but this must start to change immediately in order to strengthen liberalism, democracy and to improve the global economy.

  2. CommentedVicki Assevero

    National borders are indeed artificial! Just look at earth from space. Increasingly communities of interest are transnational and are working as environmentalists, human rights activists and crusaders for social and economic justice across borders. The fact that the institutional architecture of this "governance" is still young, in no way obviates it's effectiveness. Ie. Landmines treaty or WCD.

    Trust in governments is at an absolute low according to Edelman's trust barometer, a graphic indication that citizens are searching for a new representative model for legitimate policy making.

  3. CommentedVicki Assevero

    Domestic regulators were indeed powerless and have confessed as much. It is the FINRAs and FIAS, the think tanks and the industry lobbyists who make policy. The fact that national governments bailed out those who "recklessly endangered" global financial stability in no way redeems them from their irrelevance in averting the crisis. On the contrary, it seems that the transnational networks of private financial institutional actors were and remain more powerful than governments.

  4. CommentedStephen R. Ganns

    Thank you. Excellent commentary: on a subject which doesn't get much press. The proposed architecture of the "global" financial system seems to want to trump most Westphalian or “sovereign nation state” principles.

    People demonstrably live in homogeneous groups--because of similar bonds of cultural and political realties.

    Additionally, the nation states exist in different stages of social evolution--I'm still not sure what's wrong with that.

    Stephen R. Ganns

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