YOU CAN'T REVOKE SOVEREIGNTY WHERE IT NEVER EXISTED
Dr. Barnett has an important post on fragile, failing and failed Gap states today
:"...The UK government lists 46 countries as “fragile,” with a population of 900m (14% of world total), with Indonesia and Nigeria being the biggies. The World Bank’s more limited definition yields 11 such nations (Afghanistan, Angola, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Haiti, Liberia, Burma, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Sudan and Zimbabwe—all Gap, naturally), with an additional 16 named as Low-Income Countries Under Stress LICUS), yielding a global total of 165m. ....What Kristof wants is what I want: a system to deal with these sorts of atrocities, and waiting on the Gap to come up with one on its own, or the UN, is simply fanciful. It’ll be a group of Core heavyweights. It’ll look like a Star Chamber and the vengeance will smack of Dirty Harry-like retribution.And that’ll be a very good thing—not sort of good, not kind of good, but absolutely good. "
This is the sort of debate that makes international law professors and transnationalist progressives squeal. For them, limits of sovereignty is a concept for the Core only. In theory, the authority of international bodies they champion to make binding rulings also applies to dysfunctional Gap tyrannies but in practice you usually find these same people arguing an absolute sovereign rights line when American-led multilateral intervention is in the offing. These activists don't call it that because they repudiate the concept intellectually, but that is their intended effect in forestalling intervention.
What the hang their hat upon is the Equality of Sovereign States
as a cornerstone of the Westphalian system of international law - the very system that they normally are working to supercede and undermine. The United States, they say, does not have the right to interfere in the internal affairs of another sovereign state - though the UN does by the odd logic of a group of states acquiring a right by banding together that none possess individually.
My response is that the sovereignty of many states is simply a pretense - extended to all newly decolonized nation-states by the West through a combination of habit, convenience, guilt, selfish interest and hopeful benefit of the doubt. In reality, a sovereignty that cannot be exercised by a legitimate authority in the sense of maintaining order and accepting responsibility within a territory where the people have at least implicitly consented to be ruled, does not exist
. Flags, UN missions, postage stamps and DC lobbying firms to the contrary, notwithstanding.
When a government cannot systemically enforce its rule-sets a majority of the time over at least *some* of its territory it is not a nation-state but a geographic expression. It is legally terra incognita and the Core needs to stop pretending otherwise.