My last few words

by Jonathan Weinberg

Thanks again to Peter, without whose terrific book we couldn’t have done this, and who has responded challengingly and gracefully throughout this conversation. It’s been a lot of fun.

I want to reassure John that he really isn’t the only one here skeptical of global governance. Speaking for myself, I’m not such a fan either. Governance institutions tend to suffer from ever-increasing democracy deficits as they grow larger, and global institutions are the largest of all. In my other life, doing Internet and telecom law, the track record of global governance is pretty dispiriting.

It does seem to me, though, that we can believe in the nation-state — and believe that governance should take place on that level — without believing that the U.S. should impose arbitrary limitations on immigration-for-permanent-residence-and-ultimately-citizenship. That is, I believe that we can have a strong nation-state consistently with having borders that are much more open than this country’s are today. This relates to a key theme of Peter’s book that we didn’t really get to in this discussion: Can we have a strong conception of citizenship but only weak limits on entry into citizenship? I think we can (or at least we can have a strong enough conception of citizenship), and Cristina has articulated some of the reasons why. But the rest of that discussion will have to wait for another day.

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