Is There Evidence To Suggest That Sovereignty As A Corner Stone Of Modern Politics Crumbling?

2377 words - 10 pages

Sovereign states are the basic and indispensable building blocks of the international system. However in modern politics, there are many times where sovereignty is seen to be crumbling. This essay, aims to examine evidence to see if sovereignty as the cornerstone of modern politics, is actually crumbling. It will examine and analyze vital organisations, phenomenon’s, and situations such as globalization, the United Nations, the European Union and wars. It will show that they most certainly do compromise a state’s sovereignty, but there are also positive aspects to these compromises. It will prove that even though certain aspects of traditional sovereignty are being compromised, those compromises are positive ones and will also show that sovereignty is still a vital aspect in modern politics.
Contemporary pundits often cite the 1648 Peace of Westphalia as the political big bang that created the modern system of autonomous states. Westphalia-, which ended the thirty years’ war against the hegemonic power of the Holy Roman Empire-, delegitimized the already waning transnational role of the Catholic Church and validated the idea that international relations should be driven by balance – of power considerations rather than ideals of Christendom (Krasner, 2001). The international state system, organizations and multinational corporations that are flourishing today are said to have originated from the Peace of Westphalia. Therefore the sovereignty we have today is also known as Westphalian sovereignty. The three basic principles of this sovereignty are the equality between states, a policy of non-intervention of a state by another state and the right to political self-determination of a state. Therefore sovereignty is defined as the enabling concept of international relations whereby states assert not only ultimate authority within a district territorial entity but also assert membership of the international community. The doctrine of sovereignty implies a double claim: autonomy in foreign policy and exclusive competence in internal affairs. Internal sovereignty thus refers to a supreme decision-making and enforcement authority with regard to a particular territory and population. External sovereignty on the other hand refers to its anti thesis: the absence of a supreme international authority and hence independence of sovereign states (Evan and Newham, 1998 pg.504).
Globalization is a vital phenomenon, in modern politics and has tremendous influence on it. It is the process enabling financial and investment markets to operate internationally, largely as a result of deregulation and improved communications. It has brought the world a lot closer in many manners, but in doing so has undermined the sovereignty of many states. One of the direct results of this phenomenon is trans-national corporations and international Non-governmental organizations. These institutions have existed for two hundred years, but their increasing numbers and inexpensive media...

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