As maintained in the call for papers of this edition of “Glocalism” dedicated to “Territories, Borders and the New Geography”, it is evident that “the process of globalisation prompts a rethinking of the operation of the world and a problematisation of the modern concepts of ‘continent’, ‘border’, ‘state’ and ‘city’”.
Exactly the necessity of redefining our idea of State is addressed by Sabino Cassese’s essay, who considers the transformations regarding the three distinguishing elements of statehood, and suggests to never forget the historicity of its phenomenology as well as its conceptualisation. Only in this way is it possible to overcome, both in practical and intellectual terms, the contradictions that are seemingly fed by globalisation.
Often, it consists of reckoning with an effectiveness of political and economic power which goes beyond the customary national borders and territories of origin. As observed in the present edition of “Glocalism”, for example, untied aid in development aid policies directed to the African continent has different implications in terms of development. The lack of effectiveness shows that some inherent contradictions need to be addressed. On the contrary, another case is that of the Municipality of Barcelona’s response to the Syrian refugee crisis in Europe. This pertains to the creation of a city-to-city network on the municipal level that involves other European cities in creating safe routes for refugees at the local government level. The passivity of Nation States has forced local governments to find alternative solutions to the influx of immigrants, and, in this particular case, the Municipality of Barcelona uses dialogue as an instrument of action in order to actualise political answers on the humanitarian plane. Through the consideration of both multi-level governance theory and critical discourse analysis, it is possible to better understand how this new strategy could generate positive results.