Sovereignty Relevance

Topics: Sovereignty, European Union, International relations Pages: 8 (2770 words) Published: February 5, 2013
To what extent is state sovereignty relevant in modern world politics?

When in 1648 major European countries at the moment signed the Peace of Westphalia agreeing on respecting the territorial integrity, the first legal status of sovereignty and international system was formed. After more than three hundred years the international community declared the formal meaning and principles of sovereignty in one of the most important documents nowadays: the Charter of United Nations. The fundamental rights of political self-determination, legal equality between states, and non-intervention in the internal affairs of others became a framework for the future policies and politics. However, it is true that no state can be fully sovereign at given time. “Absolute supremacy over internal affairs within its territory, absolute right to govern its people, and freedom from any external interference in the above matters”[1] are not the case any longer even for the most powerful ones which are not free of constraints from others. Globalization process, international organisations' involvement, and interstate conflicts and crime are the main reasons of the new danger that the world politics faces: state sovereignty being under a question. Concentrating on increasing dependency and interconnectedness, diminishing strength of states, criminology and security, and constantly developing technology contribution, this essay will try to examine more specific reasons of the situation when state sovereignty is less and less relevant but still adequate to some extent in modern world politics.

There is no agreed or emerging consensus on globalisation impact upon the state – and such debates are only further complicated by the recent global financial crisis. The question about its consequences become a subject of intense controversy. There is a view that globalization precipitated a terminal crisis of the nation state. Others see such a claim as wild and unfounded extrapolations from anecdotal evidence. Key controversy is the extent to which globalization might be seen to diminish autonomy, capacity, and perforate the sovereignty of the nation state. Yet others see globalization as a process driven by states that has served to strengthen and certainly to increase the significance of state intervention for economic performance. There is a danger that in accepting an influential conception of the inevitable demise of the nation state's capacity and autonomy, we provide a convenient alibi for politicians keen to justify social and economic reforms by appeal to the harsh economic realities of a global age. “After China joined the WTO, its laws and legal system have undergone substantial changes, most of which were done in an effort to comply with the WTO requirements.'[2] - the changes in law and legal system were not from the free choice, at least not the complete free choice, of the country. Therefore political scientists can talk about both economic and law globalisation, which are strictly connected. Not only trading rules need to be changed after joining some international organisations. All laws and legal systems became similar due to international obligations – taking European Union (EU) as an example, observers can easily notice that imposed policies are sometimes about environmental issues, sometimes about health systems, and others about, for example, transport policies. So globalisation has impact on all branches of politics, economics, and daily life mostly because of international organisations that states enter.

To some extent sovereignty relevance is also 'nibbed' by international organisations. We can differentiate two kinds of them: those formed by state governments and those non-governmental ones. Mentioned earlier World Trade Organisation (WTO) dealing with the global rules of sales between nations, World Bank, and International Monetary Fund (IMF) stabilising an economic situation are just three examples of the pillars of the...
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