The role of the non-state actor can tell us much about the nature and power of the state.  While in the first instance the role of the MNC is seen as relevant in development and labour standards, for example, there are deeper more fundamental aspects of the MNC that help us to understand legitimacy.  Some countries that struggle for legitimacy – fledgling regimes, less democratic regimes, oppressive regimes – manage to sustain themselves in spite of a lack of popular support by enriching those who control the levers of power, such as the army generals, and the judiciary.  The wealth that flows to those regimes comes from multiple sources, including the sale of natural resources, and sovereign debt markets, both of which are essentially controlled by MNCs.

As the European Football Champtionship closed this evening, Sunday talk shows across the continent were full of analysis of Super Mario, Monti’s Manouever or Merkel’s Mismanagement of the latest installment of the Euro Crisis.  Last Friday morning, news came that a deal had been done to directly capitalise Europe’s banks, rather than routing capital through the sovereign, thus imperilling sovereign credit and creating the confidence problem.  There was much rumination on the need for further integration, the federalist agenda, the United States of Europe.

What is the role of expectation in determining legitimacy?  Is legitimacy a relative concept?  Tonight Egypt is again in the throws of more demonstrations, while rumours fly about the health of former President Mubarak.  Some suggest this is the end of the revolution, much as Ukraine went through a cycle of demonstration against Viktor Yanukovych‘s allegedly rigged victory in 2004, only to return to him after several years of failed ambition in 2010.  So Egypt may also revert to its previous state – most likely sans Mubarak, though age waits for no man, and his demise was inevitable anyway.  Why does this happen?  Is there an unreasonableness to the ambition of crowds?