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Discuss the argument that much of the identity-based violence that troubles the world today is a result of the failure of national governments to adjust to the growing redundancy of the Westphalian system of states.

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The Westphalian system was based on the idea that the main actors in world affairs should be sovereign states that recognized one another as such. In many ways, this system is indeed becoming obsolete. Non-state actors, in particular terrorist groups, pose one of the most significant foreign policy challenges in the modern age, and many issues, most notably climate change, are essentially borderless. Add to this the flood of refugees fleeing war, poverty, and violence from many places around the world, and it seems difficult to argue that the Westphalian approach to foreign affairs is still relevant. At the same time, in many ways, this is not a new development, particularly inasmuch as the Westphalian ethos has not been applicable to many nations around the world for many years. Powerful nations have regularly intervened in the economic and political affairs of countries around the world, especially in Africa, South America, and Southeast Asia. Indeed, these interventions, very much contrary to the spirit of Westphalia, contributed to the global inequalities that are, I would argue, more responsible for "identity-based violence" in such places as Syria and many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, than any breakdown of the Westphalian order.

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