Throughout history, nation states have served as arbiters of power, security, and resources. However, today's globalized and interconnected world is gradually pushing modern societies towards a more decentralized and local approach to governance, a transition embodied by the burgeoning of city-states. The shift from the dominance of nations to city-states raises important considerations about security, prosperity, and identity.

The Benefit of Open Borders: Talent Influx a

Cities such as those in the United States have been benefiting from an international influx of talent. Open borders encourage a global exchange of ideas and skills, fostering a vibrant international academic and professional community.  Developed countries have been benefiting from the public/private education happening in developing countries, and being the receiver end of such taletns.

The beneficiaries of such globalizations are within globally competitive metropolice like London, Paris, New York, San Francisco, etc. where univeristies and mutlinational corporations are concentrated.

However, these cities also rely on their national military to ensure border security, illustrating the critical symbiotic relationship between cities and their nations. Otherwise, cities can be flooded with people seeking employment, or they can easily be the targets of missiles.

The Case of Florence: A Historical Lesson

Historically, Florence offers a sobering lesson on the pitfalls of a city without a strong backing nation. Its peak during the Renaissance from 1380 to the 1550s abruptly ended when France invaded Italy in 1494 and Spain laid siege in 1530. Within a span of 50 years, Florence's thriving culture and status died completely, with its decline marking the end of the Italian Renaissance.

Hong Kong and the Future

In contemporary times, Hong Kong is a similarly precarious situation. Much like Florence, its status as an autonomous city-state hanging in the balance following geopolitical tension. If the Florence example holds true, by 2040, Hong Kong may cease to remain a symbol of university excellence or regional sovereignty.

Modern City-States: Switzerland, Singapore, and Dubai

The rise of prosperous city-states such as Switzerland, Singapore, and Dubai in the 1970s marked a shift towards city-centric economic systems. Their economic miracle rides behind the post-WW2 global and regional stability provided by the larger nations namely the United States and European Union. Such balance is fragile at best in the ongoing future.

Armenia saw the loss in this game in 2022; a small post-Soviet nation saw the weakening of the regional stability provided by Russia without successfully shifting into the US military umbrella.

Switzerland's ability to retain its wealth during the German uprise in the 1930s indicates that city-states can survive in difficult situations. However, achieving repeated success amidst political transitions may require a substantial pool of talents and a stroke of luck.

The Case of Canada: Rise of City Benefits

Canada's international student policy, initiated in the 1970s, facilitated an influx of international talent to enrich its cities. A gradual shift towards city-centric policies over time started the breakdown of the traditional nation-state construct in Canada. This policy transformation also highlights the growing appeal of cities as hubs of development and intellectual exchange over nations.

Desire for Wealth and Power

The wealth and power of city-states like Dubai, Qatar, and Singapore are attractive to larger nations like Iran and China. Such eagerness to acquire the resources and achievements of city-states further fuels the transition from nations to city-states.

In conclusion, although cities and nations have traditionally co-existed, the growing influence of city-states seems to challenge this norm, heralding a new era of localized power, wealth, and talent. However, history serves as a reminder of the potential pitfalls of such a shift, emphasizing the need for a balanced and strategic approach as we navigate this transition.