Latest Issue

National good

The ethnically homogeneous nation-state is alive and well. It remains the largest feasible focus for both belonging and democracy

By Michael Lind   October 2000

Pity the poor nation-state. It is mentioned only to be abused. The nation-state, we are told, is too small-too tiny to be competitive in the global economy, too feeble to deal on its own with “global issues” like climate change. At the same time, the nation-state is too big. Its centralised bureaucracies are too remote from the real centres of innovation, which are cities and neighbourhoods. National cultures cannot compete with global pop culture or with sub-national ethnic and regional cultures.

As if being the wrong size were not bad enough, the nation-state is often regarded as positively evil. The…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect