Now let me tell you what I didn’t like about the book and why I still suggest you turn to Zygmunt Bauman and Philip Bobbitt for their discussion of the erosion of the nation-state.
Hazony is very good at explaining – in the most patient and meticulous way I have ever encountered – what a nation-state is and how it comes into existence. But he has a huge glaring hole where Bauman and Bobbitt possess a profound understanding of the globalizing forces of the economy. Hazony talks as if we were all brains and emotions and had no stomachs, physical bodies, and varying material needs. I strongly believe that any discussion of the globalization has to start with the economy. Ideas are great, I’m all for ideas, but unless you understand how the ideas about the goodness / evilness of the nation-state play into a certain economic order, you aren’t getting anything like the whole picture.
What’s even worse, Hazony is very upbeat about the future of the nation-state model precisely because he doesn’t notice how the very logic of late capitalism makes it obsolete.
Hazony is from a country that arrived quite late at the nationalist game. As people from such countries (Ukraine is another example) tend to do, he wants to convince himself that the nationalist project is still going to be relevant for a long time. As a result, he engages in wishful thinking that is supported by his superficial and limited understanding of the global economy.
This is a useful book that makes some important points but I’d like to see the author try to reinvent the wheel less and engage with the mountain of existing theory on this subject a lot more.