# 15.3E: New State Spaces

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States are not necessarily the same as nations. New state spaces are redefining borders, and they may not be ruled by national governments.

Learning Objectives

• Explain how political boundaries are changing due to globalization

## Key Points

• A global city is a city that is central to the global economic or cultural system, such as New York or London.
• Not only are global cities important economically, but they are also politically unique. In some ways, global cities are more intimately connected to the global economic system and to other global cities than they are to surrounding regions or national settings.
• Another example of a new state space is seen in regional and international governments such as the European Union.
• State power is not restricted to the national level. New state spaces are evolving at both the local level (global cities) and the international level (the European Union).

## Key Terms

• European Union: A supranational organization created in the 1950s to bring the nations of Europe into closer economic and political connection. At the beginning of 2007, 27 member nations were Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom.
• Global city: A global city (also called world city or sometimes alpha city or world center) is a city generally considered to be an important node in the global economic system.
• Political borders: A border is a geographical boundary of political entities or legal jurisdictions.

For the last couple centuries, states have been largely coterminous with nations: the two tend to overlap. But states are not necessary the same as nations, and state boundaries will not necessarily always be the same as national boundaries. Recent sociological work has argued that, with globalization, relevant political borders are changing. This branch of sociology defines new state spaces as geographical spaces that are not governed simply by national governments. Instead, they may be more directly influenced by local, regional, or even international governmental bodies. One of the most prominent theories in this field is that of global cities.

## Global Cities

A global city is a city that is central to the global economic system, such as New York or London. According to global cities theory, globalization is not a process that affects all places evenly. Globalization is carried out by certain cities, which can be arranged in a hierarchy of importance. Some of these cities are absolutely central to the operation of the global economic system, and some are more peripheral. The most complex and central cities are known as global cities.

Not only are global cities important economically, but they are also politically unique. In some ways, global cities are more intimately connected to the global economic system and to other global cities than they are to surrounding regions or national settings. In general, global cities tend to actively influence and participate in international effents and world affairs. They may be national capitals, or they may host the headquarters of international organizations such as the World Bank, NATO, or the UN. They also tend to have large expatriate communities, groups of people from other countries, who give the cities a cosmpolitan flair and also increase the relevance of foreign political events for global cities.

## Regional and International Government

Another example of a new state space is seen in regional and international governments such as the European Union. The European Union is a confederation of 27 European states. It was originally formed to encourage and enable economic cooperation, but has grown to have a good deal of political power, most notably directing a Common Agricultural Policy for member states. Thus, citizens of European countries are governed not only by local and national states, but also by the European Union.

State power is not restricted to the national level. New state spaces are evolving at both the local level (global cities) and the international level (the European Union).

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