a) Micro-governments refer to a new phenomenon, whereby various institutions within a a nation-state are accorded more political power by the central government. Such emergence of micro-governments can be volitional or not from the perspective of the central government. For example, micro-governments can exist in the form of autonomous entities within a greater state that are given power based on ethnic reasons, such as in Corsica, which remains part of France, although now earning a greater autonomy. Hence, micro-governments are essentially developments away from a centralized political authority in the form of diffusion of powers.
b) Macro-governments in contrast refer to organizations that transcend national governments, bringing the latter into agreements on, for example, political or economic levels, such as the Alpine Diamond in the case of the former and the North American Free Trade Agreement in the case of the latter.
c) The future of the nation-state, according to Globalization: Debunking the Myths, while having been somewhat changed by globalization, does not ultimately entail the state’s erosion at the hands of, primarily, the interests of international capital. Globalization is itself not a clear teleological progression, and phenomena such as deglobalization may occur; furthermore, nation states have not found restrictions, according to the textbook, on taxing capital, although this itself seems to be a questionable point, in so far as the text also notes that investment in a country is often determined by the extent to which the latter’s economic policy is attractive to business. In this regard, it is too early to pronounce the death of the nation-state, but this does not mean that the nation-state is not undergoing significant historical changes because of globalization.
d) An example of homogenization effects and McWorld, which entails the conformity to a Western liberal capitalist lifestyle, is that of dress, whereby the prominence of, for example, blue jeans throughout the world can be viewed as a direct cultural influence of the dominant economic power in the world.
e) In regards to the debate on the “Westernization” of the world culture as presented in the textbook, I firmly support the position of John Stack. Culture is increasingly consumer in its outlook, a clear symptom of culture being defined by the logic of capitalism and thus the United States. Whereas culture can also be diverse within consumerism, i.e., restaurants, music, culture is increasingly separated from the traditional horizon which it emerges and is forced into a consumerist context. In other words, to merely cite the diversity of globalization overlooks how this diversity itself is being organized and structured by the world: that is, diversity is encouraged only to the extent that it fits the demands of capital and conforms to the consumerist model.
f) The “Race to the Bottom” concept indicates that governments must continually attract investment according to the capitalist system of globalization at the expense of the welfare of their own countries. Hence, countries perform a certain type of self-mutilation, hoping to attract, for example, foreign investors, but the quality of its life at once radically decreases through the corresponding loss of, for example, social services. The Race to the Bottom concept thus addresses both the short-sighted policies pursued by governments and the aggressive and hostile nature of global capital in regards to human rights and basic living standards.
g) According to the textbook, the three dimensions essential to reform of globalization, are firstly, to ensure that the positive benefits reaped by globalization are also globally construed, while attempting to reduce the negatives of globalization; secondly, that developing countries must be thought of from various forms of contemporary political power within the globalization context, such as governments, NGOs, intergovernmental organizations and business corporations; and, thirdly, the consciousness that globalization is not only a globalization occurring in a dominant Western or capitalist context, but that other forms of globalization are in fact possible and must be considered: globalization does not have to be the globalization of capitalism.
h) Despite the textbook’s arguments, national sovereignty certainly appears to be under siege, as the dominant powers which are essentially those who possess hegemony within the dominant world economic model of capitalism define the state of life for the entire world. That this model essentially does not need the nation state to function, but rather needs zones of production and consumption, stable currencies, and free trade zones, is crucial to understanding why nation states may be under siege in the age of globalization: there simply is no need for them when capital becomes the dominant ideology of the world. State sovereignty is an inhibition to capital, not supportive of it: consider the examples of NATO’s wars against Libya, which was not a part of the IMF, and rhetoric against Iran, who has pursued its own economic policy apart from the World Bank capital models as clear violations of sovereignty.