ZenPundit
Friday, February 25, 2005
 
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.
 
Comments:
Are you sure you're not actually talking about conventional realists here? I find this post confusing.
 
Mark
In keeping with the discussion of failed states, what is your opinion of this report, NATION-STATE FAILURE: A RECURRING PHENOMENON by Robert I. Rotberg

Im trying to decide the best way in which to classify states into nation-state statuses and I like his 4 category structure of Strong, Weak, Collapased and Failed. Comments?
 
Hi Prak,

No, realists would be loathe to accept the kind of radical change ( or more accurately, a restoration to the original understanding of sovereignty)in the reading of IL that I'm suggesting.

Realists, like Brent Scowcroft for example, tend to be stabilitarians with a bias toward ad hoc response. While they would agree that Somalia has de facto " failed" as a state, the idea of dropping the de jure pretense would probably appall them. Realists would prefer to jerry-rig solutions, when absolutely forced to engage these regional disasters, that preserve the legal fiction.

Having a systemic approach to the entire class of dysfunctional non-states means actually dealing with them and not ignoring them until some apocalyptic, humanitarian, disaster strikes and forces our hand.

Sovereign rights exist only as the flip siide of sovereign responsibilities to citizens and the world community. The disconnect between the two that crept into our understanding of IL in the last 30 years has been entirely pernicious.
 
Hi Prak,

No, realists would be loathe to accept the kind of radical change ( or more accurately, a restoration to the original understanding of sovereignty)in the reading of IL that I'm suggesting.

Realists, like Brent Scowcroft for example, tend to be stabilitarians with a bias toward ad hoc response. While they would agree that Somalia has de facto " failed" as a state, the idea of dropping the de jure pretense would probably appall them. Realists would prefer to jerry-rig solutions, when absolutely forced to engage these regional disasters, that preserve the legal fiction.

Having a systemic approach to the entire class of dysfunctional non-states means actually dealing with them and not ignoring them until some apocalyptic, humanitarian, disaster strikes and forces our hand.

Sovereign rights exist only as the flip siide of sovereign responsibilities to citizens and the world community. The disconnect between the two that crept into our understanding of IL in the last 30 years has been entirely pernicious.
 
HiRegan,

I'll read Rotberg and post on his ideas later tonight.....
 
Nice site. Check mine out if you can. no faxing cash advance
 
Everyone has days when they are down, worn out, general anxiety and just not feeling all that happy.

That's OK, you need to have days like this, otherwise how would you know when you are happy. You need to have something to contrast your happiness with. What is black without white?

Even though you know that sadness (general anxiety) is a part of life, let's try to make it a small part of life.

With that said, here are a few tips to help you feel better when you are feeling down in the dumps. They are easy to do, easy to practice every day and they work!

1. Stand up straight, sit up straight. When your body is in alignment your energy can flow and when your energy is flowing freely, you can flow.

2. Smile! Yes, just smile. Easy to do and effective.

3. Repeat positive affirmations. Things like "I feel good", "Positive energy flows through my body", "I see the good in all".

4. Listen to some music that you like. It doesn't have to be anything specific, just something you enjoy. Certain types of music work better than others, but experiment and see what works for you. Studies have shown that Classical music and new age music work best.

5. Take some time out for yourself, relax and read a book, do something for yourself.

6. Meditate. Meditation is an excellent habit to develop. It will serve you in all that you do. If you are one who has a hard time sitting still, then try some special meditation CDs that coax your brain into the meditative state. Just search for "Meditation music" on Google or Yahoo and explore.

Our outside work is simply a reflection of our inside world. Remember there is no reality just your perception of it. Use this truth to your advantage. Whenever you are sad, realize that it is all in your mind and you do have the power to change your perception.

These tips will lift you up when you are down, but don't just use them when you are sad or general anxiety . Try and practice them everyday, make them a habit. You will be surprised at how these simple exercises will keep the rainy days away.

On a final note, if you are in a deep depression that you can't seem to shake, please go see a doctor. This is your life and don't take any chances. general anxiety
 
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