Sovereignty: Declining or Evolving- Julia Norman

Globalization is a catch phrase in today’s society, but what does it really mean? To me, the definition encompasses a plethora of components such as the sharing of ideas, cross boarder economics, cultural sharing, and division of resources. With so much involvement cross- boarders, there becomes a blurred line of state power and sovereignty. It is a debated topic whether sovereignty is in decline or just being challenged by various factors. Krasner, a professor of International relations at Stanford University, argues the idea that sovereignty has always existed, however is always being challenged in various ways.

A key topic that is challenging state sovereignty is globalization. With advancements in technology and more shared ideas, there becomes confusion of the amount of power a state has. International power and hold is created in a number of ways. For example, the United States is dependent on China for economic and trading purposes (China&USA). With such a high demand of imports from China, the country has a large stake in the United States. This changes the state control because not only does the United States have to think about its economy, it has think of China’s economy and how one another effect each other.

Another way sovereignty is changing is due to transitional nongovernmental organizations (NGO’s). The number of NGO’s has grown exponentially from 200 in 1909 to around 17,000 today (Sovereignty). Many people believe as the numbers continue to grow, NGO’s demand and advocate for citizens that challenges the power of the state. Contrary, NGO’s do not influence sovereignty to the extent many people believe, they do play a part in challenging sovereignty. The International Monetary Fund, regularly creates economic targets, but also demands domestic institutional changes such as harsher laws for drug cartels.

Kramer believes that states will always have dominant power, but various factors are challenging and shifting their power. Because of conventional sovereignty rules, it has made some conflicts harder to solve.Suppressed countries still exist because of sovereignty. For example, the territory of Tibet has been suppressed for a number of years. Because of China’s permanent seat on the Security Council and sovereignty laws, it makes it difficult for countries and NGO’s to step in. Tibet could gain autonomy if the state did not have dominant power.

Personally, I agree with Krasner that sovereignty is still the most dominant power, however, is constantly being evolving and challenged. As we become more of an interconnected globe, sovereignty continues to face obstacles and challenges. With time, sovereignty will continue to evolve, but nothing will trump the power of the state.


One thought on “Sovereignty: Declining or Evolving- Julia Norman”

  1. Good afternoon! First, I have to say that your hook catches the readers attention automatically and it directly addresses the “elephant in the room”. I agree with how you describe globalization and its components. I think that it includes the most important aspects dealt with in transnational negotiations. As well, I believe that, as you argue, there is a blurred line that has not been defined as to where does a state’s power start and where does it end. This leads me to question what makes a state more sovereign than another if these guidelines are still unclear; therefore, I also agree that this is one of the key topics that should be address before handling any other concerning globalization and transnational relations. On the other hand, I am unsure of what you mean where you address the United States and China relations. I understand the importance of knowing how the United States’ economy is affecting China’s economy, but I don’t see the relation with the amount of power a state has. Now, regarding the nongovernmental organizations, I think that including the statistics strengthened your argument a lot. Contrary to popular believe, I believe that, like Krasner suggests, NGOs the demand and advocate for citizens makes a state more powerful. In my opinion, NGOs provide states the necessary bureaucracy and attention for the betterment of its people. However, I do see why scholars see it as a challenging actor in sovereignty; as a result, agreeing with your last statement, “nothing will trump the power of the state”.


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