The new imperialism
For most of us, the notion of a sovereign state free to do whatever it likes within its own borders has become a ‘given’. It’s what paralyses the international community when faced with humanitarian crises. But, post September 11, influential voices in the UK and US administrations are beginning to think the unthinkable. In Britain, Robert Cooper is a senior diplomat who has helped to shape Tony Blair’s calls for a new internationalism and a new doctrine of humanitarian intervention which would place limits on state sovereignty. This article contains the full text of Cooper’s essay on “the postmodern state”, which seems to be the clearest articulation of this emerging geopolitical philosophy. Its significance derives from the fact that Cooper’s is the brain behind Blair’s policy. This is what Blair and Dubya would think if they were smart enough.