Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/3088
The Fall of Westphalia? : Sovereignty of States Post Globalisation
The fact that globalisation has had a far reaching and lasting impact on state sovereignty has sparked a controversy in academic discourse. There is a substantial body of research which argues that sovereignty in a global age has become a redundant notion and is no longer relevant for political and legal theory in the XXI century. This thesis is set to challenge this opinion. I will argue that the basic principles of classical Westphalian sovereignty model are viable and applicable to the contemporary pattern of international relations between states as well as in the domestic affairs. To substantiate my argument, I will review sovereignty from two perspectives. First, I will explore the notion of internal sovereignty which reflects patterns of relationship between the highest state authority vested with coercive power, and the people of the nation. Secondly, I will discuss external sovereignty as diplomatic, political and economic relations between states in the international arena, where states are understood as formal equals and do not have the power to intervene into other states’ domestic policy issues. Although both of these ‘sovereignties’ have been challenged by democratic representation, subsidiarity, the European Union legal order, international human rights law and ius cogens norms, the basic tenet of Westphalian sovereignty, i.e. the existence of an authority(-ies) vested with the ultimate decision-making power, still stands, as this thesis hopes to show. I will argue that today this power has shifted from one single authority or monarch to a multiplicity of various authorities or actors both within states and in the international plane. This however does not jeopardise the basic idea of distribution of power expressed in writings of Bodin and Hobbes, which makes a strong case for Westphalian sovereignty in the age of globalisation.