By Parag Khanna and Sawsan Gad
The competition for authority within and between states is as intense as ever in history. And it's due not just to the current wave of democratic experimentation occurring across Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia, but also the rising power of corporations, NGOs, religious groups, terrorists, and other individuals who today are financially, militarily, and technologically empowered like never before.
These non-stateactors increasingly hold the tools of international power in their hands. Historically, technological revolutions -- from farming to manufacturing, and industry to information -- have catalyzed tensions over authority, as new communities seize opportunities for control. It is now happening again, allowing alternative authorities to flourish -- and in some places, even directly challenge state sovereignty.