I managed to get hold of a copy of the Financial Times today and so was able to read a thought-provoking op-ed article by Francis Fukuyama, entitled ‘Conservatives must fall back in love with the state’, and which coincidentally covered some of the constitutional ground over which I have been wandering in other readings. In particular, Fukuyama addresses the issue of American exceptionalism, with its key component of distrust of state authority. He argues that American Conservatives should understand that there is a difference between limited government and weak government and calls for a renewal of the tradition of Alexander Hamilton and Theodore Roosevelt, ‘that sees the necessity of a strong if limited state, and that uses state power for the purposes of national revival.’ I sometimes wonder whether Europeans are not, in their own sweet way, edging towards such fundamental debates about the role of state power (or whatever one wishes to call it) at con/federal level. To take a timely example, one of the political conclusions that has arisen out of the efforts of the Eurozone and the EU more generally to deal with the economic and financial crisis is that, if it is to be effective, the European Commission needs stronger powers, even if in certain narrowly circumscribed areas. Interesting stuff.