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December 20, 2002

Press Contact:
Allegra Young, UT Law Communications, (512) 471-7330

Archbishop of Canterbury Addresses Prof. Bobbitt's Market State Theories in First Major Address

Widely publicized lecture questions the new role of the church in Bobbitt's "market state"

AUSTIN, Texas - Dr. Rowan Williams, the newly installed Archbishop of Canterbury, delivered his first major address as Archbishop on the future of the Church in the context of the market state as defined by University of Texas School of Law Professor Philip Bobbitt in his latest book The Shield of Achilles. The Archbishop's speech was reprinted in full in both the Times (London) and in the Guardian. Both newspapers wrote editorials about the address and Bobbitt's theory of the market state.

The Archbishop remarked,

"And what I want to explore in this lecture is the suggestion, now to be heard in several quarters, that we're in fact living in just such a period where the basic assumptions about how states work are shifting. If this is true, there are some quite far-reaching consequences, and I want to suggest ways of understanding these....The idea that's being increasingly canvassed is that we are witnessing the end of the nation state, and that the nation state is being replaced in the economically developed world by what some call the "market state"....This reading of our present situation is spelled out in great detail by the American strategist and historian Philip Bobbitt. He sees our present context as one where the nation state's inability to deliver in the terms we have become used to, its inability to meet the expectations we now bring, has led to a shift into a new political mode, the market state, in which the function of government - and the thing that makes government worth obeying - is to clear a space for individuals or groups to do their own negotiating, to secure the best deal or the best value for money in pursuing what they want."

Related links:
Shield of Achilles website: