Something’s afoot with power. The nation state is being challenged structurally and institutionally. Its model of hierarchical power, monopoly on violence, and binding law, is being squeezed from below and from above – by grassroots organizations on the one end and supranational organizations on the other. Development aid is becoming caught up with strategic interests in the political, military and economic areas. Centralized power with major international oil companies is a thing of the past. The internet has the capacity to bring people together, or to divide them. All of these developments are changing our world drastically, and altering our view on the world.
In ‘The Fission of Power’, we make sense of these different changes, and demonstrate what they have in common. Power is becoming more widely distributed, more accessible, and more evanescent—but without losing amplitude. As a result, actors of all kinds must be more ‘flexible under flux’: they must take on a more agile and networked approach to implementing their decisions, prepare for change, and engage in more iterative and experimentalist forms of decision-making. The first step is to recognize the changing nature of power in a fragmented world.
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