Michael Cohen, Maria Figueroa Küpçü and Parag Khanna make some compelling arguments about the inherent drawbacks regarding the role diverse networks of NGOs play in keeping at-risk populations alive throughout the world. We are informed that these groups are “the new colonialists,” agencies much like the old European empires. These new colonialists are apparently enforcing a cycle of dependency which prevents the development of state structures, structures that apparently sustain these populations more effectively. The problem with this thesis is that the authors do not seem to entertain the possibility that the nation-state is itself an (old) colonial construct, and that even the longing for the “strong” structures of the nation-state in these at-risk areas represents, at least implicitly, a somewhat outdated way of thinking.

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