My definition of a “Nation State” is this: “Nation” refers to a group or groups of people who can and do live together with general consent and success. “State” refers to a governmental structure defined by laws, codes, regulations, taxes and political sovereignty.

As we see populations increasingly collide around the globe (illegal immigrants in the U.S., Russia imposing itself on former territories, a fragmented Iraq on fire, Afghanistan tribal conflict, Pakistan against India, the Koreas in endless conflict, China’s global influence, Egyptian multi-culturalism, to name a few), it seems to be clear that the “Nation States,” so many of them the political residue of wars and military domination, past and present, are coming apart. Democracy requires that people of multiple backgrounds decide to voluntarily live together. Autocracies do not.

The old concept of the “Nation State” is calling out to be reinvented, in ways that can better accommodate natural associative “Nations” of people. Of course, any such evolution also calls for a realignment of world order, and something more relevant to the times than the current United Nations.