Nation State Making & the Environment; Questions Posed by the Scottish Referendum
I have noticed that all the countries I have visited recently that what constitutes those Nations is fractured. They do not exhibit the features of a clearly bounded Nation but different regions and groups of people pulling at the seams of the current patch of fabric that constitutes their supposed Nation State. This has been most recently been made clear to me by the Scottish referendum on whether Scotland is to remain part of the United Kingdom or not. Another recent example that I also experienced was large scale celebrations in Barcelona for Catalunian independence. In addition to these Cyprus and Georgia also spring to mind as places I have recently visited that are not unified singular Nation States. Furthermore the fracturing of the UK from Europe poses another type of example.
My comment on these is that as I scan the globe each and every Nation State is not constituted of a nationality of people that share a clearly bounded market-state but different regions that work in different ways together, in different groups of peoples interest. If we take Spain for example we also have Basque and Andorra has regions that have specific market or state conditions that fulfil certain functions, whether they be tax havens or ethnic embedded localities.
In an era in which many communications and identities do not move within but across these fractured nation states, the Nation State model is under further strain by people in their efforts to fulfil their lives.
The question then is what are events like the Scottish referendum telling us about what the Nation State is in reality? and in what way are such events making or re-making the model of the Nation State or replacing it with a different or varied model?
I also sense that narratives of regional unity, that find justification in their belief that unity is better for ‘peace’ and ‘prosperity’, can be perceived to be challenged by the legalisation and legitimisation of the Nation State as a fractured entity by such events as the Scottish referendum. I find this slightly problematic as I find no similar challenge to the Nation market-state, being perceived by regional fractured regions that act as tax havens which arguably are more threat to ‘National prosperity’ through the siphoning off of wealth.
On the other hand I find a global meshwork of ever more fractured national fabrics seemingly based in part on regional natural resource wealth, such as in the Scottish and Cypriot cases. In both these cases it is suggested that oil and gas profits be used for regional State building, however there is no question made about the health of the environmental landscape stretching across all these regions.
There is no un-fractured Europe or unfractured UK or Spain. There is no global benevolent government. There is no clearly bounded Nation States or market-states. There is no uniform or unchanging ethnic group. There is however one interconnected environment in which all this diversity of groups of people are bounded despite efforts for autonomy of identity.
Therefore my final question is whether smaller political entities will lead to a more healthy environment based on a perception of more autonomy to act locally? or whether these political entities are constructed in opposition to a regional unity that includes regional environmental care-taking? or whether it will make no difference at all.