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Book Talk / Marginal notes to “State-Building, Governance and World Order in the Twenty-first Century” by Francis Fukuyama
Bonanate begins by questioning the structure of Fukuyama’s book. The issues discussed are anything but new and the ones announced in the title (State-building, Governance and World Order) hardly ever appear. The central topic that Fukuyama mentions but fails to discuss is the (economic) development-democracy nexus; a topic that he fails to mention in advance but actually addresses is the democracy-peace nexus. The main point that emerges is his absolute indifference for the democracy of the single ‘weak’ state in question: it seems that the only important thing is international order – whether democratic or not is of no matter. In Bonanate’s view it is right to question the exportation of democracy, but it is impossible to do this according to a commercial logic, as if we were talking about denim jeans! It has to be acknowledged, however, that no one has yet come up with proposals to solve the problem. Finally, Bonanate points out that Fukuyama never speaks about peace: but isn’t peace a condition of democracy? Yet again a picture of a system is painted in which only security (from terrorism) is of any value and in which American-style democracy consequently has to expand. It is doubtful whether this is a good representation of the world today.