This article explores the political implications of the growing enmeshment of human communities with each other over time and the way in which the fate of peoples is determined increasingly by complex social, economic and environmental processes that stretch across their borders. Examining the growing interconnections between states and societies, the article focuses on the transformations that are under way in the form and nature of political community. It does not argue that globalization has simply eroded the nature of sovereignty and autonomy. Rather, it seeks to show how there has been a reconfiguration of political power, which has created new forms of governance and politics - both within states and beyond their boundaries. The consequences of globalization for democracy and accountability are also examined. While the article shows that the idea of government or of the state can no longer be simply defended as an idea suitable to a particular, closed political community or nation-state, it sets forth how new forms of governance are emerging - regionally, internationally and globally - that can be built upon and further elaborated. The last part explores how a `cosmopolitan conception of democratic governance' might meet the political challenges created by globalization. Both the general principles and institutional implications of this form of governance are set out, disclosing both short- and long-term possibilities
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