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Pero Maldini, Ph.D., University of Dubrovnik The Nation State and Global Surroundings: The Issue of Sovereignty Dubrovnik, October 23-24 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "Pero Maldini, Ph.D., University of Dubrovnik The Nation State and Global Surroundings: The Issue of Sovereignty Dubrovnik, October 23-24 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 Pero Maldini, Ph.D., University of Dubrovnik The Nation State and Global Surroundings: The Issue of Sovereignty Dubrovnik, October

2 Presentation Content and Structure:  On some Aspects of Globalization and the Changes that causes  Sovereignty (classic and contemporary)  Nation State and Sovereignty in the Age of Globalization  National State and Sovereignty in Perspective 1

3 On some Aspects of Globalization and the Changes that causes  Globalization is a complex social process that includes a wide set of different but interrelated social phenomena, both at the levels of relations between different societies and relations within them.  It can be understood primarily as a direct or indirect influence (not only economic but also cultural, political, religious, social) among societies and social structures at the global level.  Its main characteristic is the relations and forms of transnational linkages that create a greater mutual interdependence that goes beyond the framework of national boundaries, political alliances, regions and continents. 2

4 On some Aspects of Globalization and the Changes that causes  Globalization processes taking place simultaneously in the economic, cultural and political field. Extremely enhanced accessibility to information, development of global culture, environmental issues, problems of international crime, terrorism, etc. - are just some of the typical processes that increasingly surpassing the national state control and problems that can’t be solved at the individual state level.  At the same time, globalization promotes democracy as supranational order. It also causes significant changes in the traditional understanding of the political community, society, state, borders, territory and sovereignty. 3

5 On some Aspects of Globalization and the Changes that causes 4  At the practical political level, globalization leads to significant changes in the structure and functioning of national states which are reflected primarily in relativization of territoriality, state sovereignty, national legislation, political tradition and political identity.  The process of democratization as a global political trend (ambivalent with regard to economic globalization and interest basis), questions of cultural identity (caused by the processes of value changes), and questions of political identity and legitimacy (in terms of global democracy) - represents a new context that raises the need to redefine the national state meaning and functions, content and extent, as well as holders of sovereignty and ways of its implementation.

6 Sovereignty (classic and contemporary)  In essence, sovereignty means complete power over the population within certain territory.  Once, the principle of sovereignty as absolute ruler's unlimited and undivided power over the subjects, Enlightenment thought, Revolution and liberalism have turned into the principle of popular sovereignty, under which all power derives from the people and belongs to the people.  Practically, sovereignty is expressed through political, economic and territorial autonomy and independence of political community (nation) in the form of the nation state. 5

7 Sovereignty (classic and contemporary)  There are two dimensions of sovereignty: internal and external.  Internal dimension includes authority over the population and territory within the state borders, independent of any other power, freedom in decision making and right of undisturbed power, including the coercion.  External dimension implies recognition by other countries (international community), which includes territorial integrity and right to participate in international organizations on an equal basis with other countries.  Sovereignty, expressed through the independent nation- states in the international ambience is the central organizational principle of the state. 6

8 Sovereignty (classic and contemporary)  But despite its clear definition, in the contemporary political context, concept of sovereignty caused some confusion.  It derives from the conflict between its implicit meaning (assumes the existence of nation-state as sovereign political community) and political reality (in which this sovereignty is increasingly restricted). 7

9 Sovereignty (classic and contemporary)  Specifically, within the globally connected and interdependent world in which international organizations and institutions have the attributes of political power, and international regulations and agreements include commitments to national states as members of international community - a classic sovereignty is increasingly transforming into different forms of non-state, more functional sovereignty.  This means that sovereignty can no longer be understood in an absolute sense, but as an integral part of the international system of recognition of sovereignty. 8

10 Nation State and Sovereignty in the Age of Globalization  Nowdays policy is much more than ever under the influence of supranational institutions and structurally changed in terms of multi-level governance and decentralization (a combination of regulation at local, national, regional and global levels). All this in turn means substantial change of state sovereignty in its original meaning and scope.  New forms of association are being established, which is evident through the formation of transnational communities based on political, ideological, religious, ethnic, class, racial, sexual, professional, artistic and other identities and preferences. This situation leads to the reconstruction of collective identities and to redefining notions of citizenship and democracy. 9

11 Nation State and Sovereignty in the Age of Globalization  Development of information technologies is changing communication forms and affects the disintegration of traditional social structures (family, friends, citizens, nation).  Networked society (depersonalized and technologized) puts individuals in the center of the virtual society.  However, it cannot substitute personal relations and replace the real society. Isolated individuals, interconnected by the network, cannot produce organic society. 10

12 Nation State and Sovereignty in the Age of Globalization  Global civil society and transnational democracy, despite its indisputable potential for the development of democracy, are also problematic.  The problems are issues of political identity, constitution of political community (which is still dominant on a national level), question of legitimacy (normative or instrumental-based) and problem of collectively binding decisions making and commitments to submit them. 11

13 Nation State and Sovereignty in the Age of Globalization  Despite the loss of its basic attributes, particularly the sovereignty, it seems that the national state is not losing its impact. Key public policies are still in its exclusive domain and the national political parties are the main actors of political life. Also, it is still the main subject of international relations, integrations and organizations.  Citizens’ commitment to the own nation is the dominant political-identification feature which is not necessarily in conflict with their cosmopolitan orientations. Global civil society has not replaced the old political channels but rather opened new dimensions of political action and influence. 12

14 Nation State and Sovereignty in Perspective  Formation of political community (implies political identity) under conditions of globalization is still associated with the national state as a classic political community (implies citizenship).  Democracy can be (and should be) set out as the rule in international relations and as the criteria for international organizations’ activities toward certain countries.  Supranational democracy cannot go in the direction of suppression of nation-states as classical forms of political community, nor tend to be a replacement of national sovereignty by some supranational institutions in a form of bureaucratized political power. 13

15 Nation State and Sovereignty in Perspective  The nation-state, regardless of the considerable reduction of autonomy, continues to remain a fundamental political community. Nevertheless, through the legitimate democratic procedures it can (and it has to) "waive" some of its sovereign rights in a favor of its common supranational integration(s).  The structure of traditional decision-making process - that so far has been reserved exclusively for national political power - now is expanded to the supranational level and global environment, and to citizens who increasingly participate in the political processes as globalization opens up the space for their greater influence and control over the political power. 14


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