Monday, June 13, 2011

Sovereignty and Globalization

Eric Posner, in his talk on CSPAN's Book TV, mentioned that the level of states rights envisioned by the authors of the U.S. Constitution is no longer appropriate in view of the development of national institutions and infrastructure in the centuries since the constitution was written.

There seem to be people such as Sovereignty International who don't realize that not only have states given up states rights to the federal government to meet the governance challenges posed by the development of U.S. national infrastructure and institutions, but that the national government is also giving up some national rights to better meet the governance challenges posed by globalization.

Of course, the framers of the constitution realized that the government would have to make treaties, giving that power to the executive branch with the advice and consent of the Senate and not allowing the states to make independent treaties, making such treaties the supreme law of the land, and giving the Judiciary the right to enforce treaties. A treaty by its very nature would seem to reduce the sovereignty of the parties so that they thenceforth respect the terms negotiated in the treaty.

Think about the benefits to our health brought about by international agreements to control the spread of communicable diseases, or the benefits obtained by international agreements allowing international mails or international telephone calls. The World Trade Organization helps to deal with trade disputes that could not be settled unilaterally. I could go on and on.

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