Globalization is associated with the rising power of a mass of nonstate or suprastate entities (O'Neil 253), and as the entities accumulate their power, they tend to take power from sovereign states in zero-sum fashion. Some of this loss of power, or sovereignty is deliberate: many states have ceded authority to Intergovernmental Organizations, such as the World Trade Organization, to gain a benefit or help protect themselves from threats.
As countries gain membership in various international institutions, states are becoming more and more bound to the rules and policies of the institutions. As a result, countries are less able to act independently even on domestic issues within their own territory. President Bush is known for his propensity to act unilaterally on many issues despite opposing international views, but even he has accepted a WTO ruling that infringed on US sovereignty. According to Tim Wu, Professor at Columbia Law School, "in his tenure as U.S. president, George W. Bush has obeyed exactly one international court decision: a WTO ruling that shot down his protections for American steel." The WTO has struck down European Bans of hormone fed beef and has the authority to scrutinize the US ban on marijuana as it could be viewed as an arbitrary barrier to free trade. (Preceding examples from Wu article).
The WTO holds power over countries because of its ability to levy sanctions and hurt countries financially. It is not only IGOs that have the increased ability to impact the sovereignty of a country from globalization; multinational corporations also are able to leverage their monetary might to set policies and procedures in otherwise sovereign countries. New York Times columnist, Thomas Friedman refers to this as these MNCs as the financial herd. Typically, capital is moved to countries that offer free markets and political transparency, and out countries lacking those qualities. Countries that wish to... [continues]
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