Tag Archives: Francois Mitterand

Discussion Four: State Sovereignty in the Context of International Integration

6 Dec

In this podcast, we discuss the importance of individual leaders and their ideas as these apply to the structure of the international order.  In particular, we discuss the ideas contained in “What Did We End the Cold War For?,” a piece written in 1996 by Mikhail Gorbachev, Margaret Thatcher, George Bush, Francois Mitterrand, and Brian Mulroney.  This piece covers a lot of ground, laying out the structure of state interests and the international system as perceived by the leaders who were instrumental in the conclusion of the Cold War.  We concentrate on these leaders’ varying conceptions of state sovereignty and self-determination, particularly as these conceptions remain relevant in the context of international integration.

Click here to listen to our fourth roundtable discussion.

To access the readings discussed in this podcast, click here.

Our discussion follows the following outline:

Leaders’ Views of State Sovereignty and Self-Determination

  1. Thatcher
    1. Loyalty to the nation-state
    2. Empire is over
    3. Supported state sovereignty and self-determination so long as it aligned with British interests (ie not necessarily in the case of a unified Germany)
  2. Mitterand
    1. Must protect the diverse groups that emerge after the fall of empire
    2. Need to affirm individual personality, sovereignty and rights
  3. Gorbachev
    1. Sovereignty should be a gradual process and is not the be all and end all
    2. Cannot grant immediate sovereignty to all of the groups within the USSR
    3. Subjugation of sovereignty in favor of a pseudo-federalist system such as existed under the USSR positive in terms of the federation’s provision of common public goods
  4. Bush
    1. Supported state sovereignty and self-determination

Context of International Integration

  1. Thatcher
    1. Independent nation states operating in common markets
  2. Mitterand
    1. Synthesis needed between international integration and the protection of individual groups
    2. Must create a rule of law that protects minority groups while allowing for increased integration
    3. Sovereignty for each distinct cultural group is unfeasible
  3. Gorbachev
    1. Must balance our needs for international integration, global security and economic cooperation with a protection of cultural diversity and the rights of all groups