The State in the International System: The Paradox of Its Endurance
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Prof. dr hab., Dolnośląska Szkoła Wyższa, Wrocław.
Publication date: 2019-12-31
Stosunki Międzynarodowe – International Relations 2019;55(4)
The central problem constituting the background of this text is the state – a political, legal and social institution with traditions dating back to antiquity, which has endured in international spaces far different from that in which it was created. This article analyses the driving forces that facilitate the potential of adaptation to the reality, which is changing in the long term. Among the effects of these forces are the facts that contemporarily the state as a community defies simple generalizations, raises much controversy, appears as a declining form, and is ‘blurred’ rather than readable. The article draws on the theoretical framework of the French historian of modern times, Ferdinand. Braudel, a representative of the ‘long term’ Annales School (Fr: longue durée) that builds on the assumption of 3 phases (time intervals) in which the occurrences of fundamental importance to the development of the world and civilization took place. Civilizations, according to Braudel, are created at the intersection of time and space. This also applies to states whose emergence, duration and development are the result of the intersection of changes over time and the space they relate to. From the perspective of the concept of the ‘long term’, the state symbolizes the transformation of social structures, their development and civilizational achievements, as each change in the international space, constituting for the state the foundation of its ‘long term’, implies material changes for the state. In the perspective of the ‘long term’, the ability of the state to ‘absorb’ the consequences of changes is often reminiscent of a ‘tarantula dance’, which is intended to heal it from the bites of the poisonous spider. The problem addressed in this article is directly related to the relationship between phenomena and occurrences which have been taking place in the real world for generations and which are material to the state and its ontological content.
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