Waning Sovereignty of States in the International System

Topics: Sovereignty, International relations, Sovereign state Pages: 15 (3976 words) Published: February 1, 2013
Changing conceptions of the modern state inevitably provoke conflicting views of the term sovereignty. While some argue that the growing impact of cosmopolitan norms and transnationally-based governance are

weakening state sovereignty, others claim that the concept is merely being redefined. Indeed, the latter group even includes proponents of global governance, who argue that state sovereignty can actually be strengthened rather than weakened by the transfer of power to the supranational level. In a bid to discuss on this question “how correct is the view that the emergence of international

organisations contributed to the waning sovereignty of states” you will agree with me that it is pertinent to have

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a brief but detailed understanding of the key words such as sovereignty, states, international organisations. Definition of state Etymologically the state started to exist or emerge in the 15th century and because of the agreements of the Westphalia treaty of 1648 there arouse some basic features to what is to be called a state and such features are as follows 1. Distinct territory. 2. Sovereignty/ independence. 3. Population/ demography. 4. Government which must have authority and resource of physical power. Many political philosophers like Plato, Aristotle, Machaveillie, Hobbes, John Locke, Max Weber, etc. even modern philosophers like Claude Ake have all tried to 2|P a ge

give different and a befitting conception about what a state is or not. For the purpose of these work i shall just be looking at the concept of Max Weber, Plato, the social contract theorizers and that of Claude Ake. According to the fathers of philosophy Plato and Aristotle the state is seen as a system of service designed to meet the demands and challenges of the society. To Max Weber the state is a law unto itself that is the state is based on law. To Thomas Hobbes it’s an alternative to the brutish world that was in place before the social contract theory and therefore making security, order and peace the basis of the state. Claude Ake define the state as a specific modality of class domination and such modality of domination are autonomous i.e. the institutional mechanism of class 3|P a ge

domination are constituted in way that they enjoy independence from the society such that they appear as an objective force standing alongside with society. We can also classify the conceptualization of the state into the liberal or bourgeoisies view and the Marxist views. The liberal proponents are of the view that the role of the state is to apply and mediate in the competitions and interrelationship. The state makes the rules of the competitions and interrelationship to facilitate the

different classes to compete on a level playing ground. And such the state is seen as an unbiased umpire among the various competing class in the society. While the Marxist sees the state as a tool for the exploitation and oppressing of the civil society by the state officials i.e. it’s the private property of the officials 4|P a ge

or elites for self-advancement, and as such sees the states as a manifestation of the irreconcilable contraction among classes. And some major proponents of this view are Lenin and Karl Marx. To Lenin it is an organ of class rule, organ of the oppressive section of class by another; it is organized in the midst of class struggle or conflict by economically dominant class which becomes the most powerful political class. Karl Marx sees it as the executive committee of the bourgeois as a whole according to the Marxist perspective it exist to protect the dominant class in defence of private property and ownership. Having considered the above conception of various philosophers about what a state is and the features of what makes up a state, we can now go ahead to discuss about the origin and meaning of sovereignty.

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Indeed, the "flourishing" of international organisation resonates with the...
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