Tag Archives: Sovereignty

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
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Discussion Two: Theories of International Order

4 Dec

In this roundtable, we develop our own theories of international order.  With these theories, we attempt to answer the questions we began exploring in our first discussion: what is international order and how does it arise?  These theories will, in part, be used to frame our later discussions of the Cold War and post-Cold War orders.

Click here to listen to our second roundtable discussion.

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

Some of the salient points to emerge from this discussion of our theories are the differences between what we consider to be the primary unit of analysis and the applicability of various theories of international politics across the security and trade spheres.

  • Primary unit of analysis: Will and Vince see the sovereign state as the primary actor in the international system, whereas Erin and Christian allow for a more robust consideration of non-state actors.
  • Logics determining state behavior: theories of international politics that appear to apply well to the security sphere do not appear to apply as well to the trade and monetary sphere.  Erin argues that a segmentation of theory by issue area is necessary to gain a more complete understanding of international order.

Discussion One: International Order

26 Nov

This podcast begins our discussion of what order is and where order comes from.  It lays out the theoretical framework for the more empirics-focused discussions coming later in the series.

Click here to listen to our first roundtable discussion.

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

Our discussion follows the following outline:

Discussion of Order

  1. What is order?
  2. How do we know order when we see it?
  3. Stability v. instability in the international system
  4. What kind of “order” are we working towards? What kind of order should we be working towards?

Theoretical Building Blocks

  1. Review relevant theories of international politics.
  2. What can the theories explain?
  3. What can’t they explain?