Mass Immigration, the Nation State, and Post-National Rules and Structures

Mark Krikorian, the Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington DC, discusses with Calum Nicholson, a Fellow of the Danube Institute, in Budapest, and John O'Sullivan, the Institute's President, how the experience of mass immigration into the United States and other Western countries since the Cold War ended in 1989 has changed American and European society, challenging earlier concepts of national identity and international law, re-defining the relationships between citizens, non-citizen residents, and the state, and creating a new set of post-national institutions and treaty obligations that compete with the nation-state in determining and enforcing expanded ideas of human rights. Has the nation-state lost the power to determine laws that govern its own society to UN bodies, the EU, NGOs, and international courts? How is the nation-state handling the problems of mass immigration in this new post-national context? Can it regain some or all of the powers it has lost to post- and trans-national bodies? Is this new structure of post-national law and political authority viable? Or democratic? Or capable of functioning effectively without the traditional tools of the nation-state? And how is democratic politics coping with these new and fundamental challenges to nation and democracy?