Subnational actors like Hezbollah represent a challenge to the international order as well as to the states in which they operate. Hezbollah functions as an independent actor retaining the right to pursue a foreign policy agenda independent of the Lebanese state, which is what makes it so dangerous to stability in the Levant and so challenging for policymakers.
The State of the State
The nation-state is increasingly under pressure from above and below. Multilateral organizations, hybrid actors and increasingly empowered populaces have crowded the international arena with options for action and challenges for government policy. WPR examines the State of the State.
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Articles in this feature
Reports of the demise of the Westphalian system are premature,but the shifting of the relative balance of power between states,threats, and the populaces they emerge from is undeniable. A "populace-centric" approach to foreign policy would recognize the emergenceand enduring nature of popular power, and free U.S. interests frombecoming mired in fleeting governments or threats.
Multilateral organizations are products of state sovereignty and survive largely because their members exercise their sovereignty to keep them alive. However, once created, these organizations acquire their own interests. Through the pursuit of their own interests, multilateral organizations constrain the behavior of states and thereby modify the meaning of sovereignty.