By ROBIN PHILPOT
Sounds like Dark Ages Ahead might be worth checking out... I found this of particular interest in the article:
She developed the idea of smaller sovereignties in her recent book Dark Age Ahead. In it she explains how early medieval cities helped pull Europe out of the Dark Age because of subsidiarity, the principle that government works best when it is closest to the people it serves and the needs it addresses, and fiscal accountability, the principle that institutions collecting and disbursing taxes work most responsibly when they are transparent to those providing money. Both of these principles have almost disappeared from the modern world.