State Sovereignty And The Contemporary Global Economy

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Claims that state sovereignty has been damaged or diminished by contemporary economic globalization have become commonplace. In the interest of clarifying and eventually assessing these claims, I provide accounts of sovereignty and sovereignty violation. I end with preliminary assessment of several of the most commonly-voiced claims about the effects of economic globalization on sovereignty. In Chapter 1, I sort through the concepts and associations caught by the term 'sovereignty.' I observe that the term can be used to refer to both the international legal tradition according to which only states may claim a certain important kind of authority, and the very kind of authority claimed in accordance with this tradition. As these are related but not identical subjects of inquiry, I provide thorough introductions to both sovereignty, the institution, and sovereignty, the kind of authority. In Chapter 2, I argue that a position of authority is constituted by (1) an end or set of ends the pursuit of which requires interference with the activities of some set of agents; together with (2) the norms that shape the ways in which an agent occupying the position may pursue those ends. When an agent exercises authority, she adopts the ends for which her position exists, and exercises her will in their pursuit. I argue that the exercise of authority is therefore a special case of the exercise of autonomy-the free and purposeful direction of one's will. This suggests that authority can be diminished by acts customarily understood to be autonomy-violating. I further argue that violating an authority's autonomy problematically hinders the pursuit of the important ends for the sake of which the authority curtails other agents' autonomy. In Chapter 3, I pinpoint the autonomy-violating features of coercion, exploitation, and manipulative deception: I argue that options enable autonomy, and that each of these ways of attempting to influence others' behavior diminish those others' option sets. Chapter 4 surveys a range of practices and institutions associated with contemporary economic globalization, arguing that some of them, though not all, do attempt to influence states in autonomy-violating ways; and, therefore, do diminish state sovereignty.
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