THE NEW SOVEREIGNTY IN THE INTERNATIONAL SYSTEM
How have connections that have formed below the level of the state influenced the Westphalia notion of sovereignty?
Westphalian sovereignty as defined in the classical model cannot remain anymore in the international system because of the changes that have occurred in international relations. Nowadays the anarchic states are connected to each other. Any move by one of them, is felt by all the others. Therefore, Westphalian sovereignty as described by the classical model is obsolete, and needs to be improved in order to be efficient in the international system.
According to the classical model, sovereignty is defined as “The existence of a supreme authority over a certain territory, and each state is independent with no authority above and equal of all other sovereign states”.
The mutual dependency of the anarchic states does not support the classical definition of Westphalia notion of the sovereignty. The states were influenced by the changes that occurred in international relations.
Classical realists, who inherited the European states system, stated that sovereignty is understood as a practical matter to have arisen in and around the Treaty of Westphalia (1648), which ended thirty year’s of war, and denoted the existence of a supreme authority over a certain territory. As we have seen, the key idea is that sovereignty requires a single political hierarchy.
Externally, sovereignty implies that each state is independent, with no authority above the state, and that each state is formally the equal of all other sovereign states. In this perspective sovereignty is clearly an absolu...
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...eir sovereignty, in order to gain certain benefits, and to the strong states from coercing weaker states.
We have demonstrated how treaties, agreements, coercion and imposition, as well as specific cases have influenced the world system, and that the deviations set forth in Westphalian sovereignty according to Lake, aggregated external restrictions. Those external restrictions constituted hierarchical authority which is not coercive, Certain conflicts could be resolved based on this implicit hierarchical authority that already existed in international relations. However, a new sovereignty incorporating explicitly hierarchical authoritative relationships would improve the international system. Therefore, this new sovereignty could contribute to the creation of many original forms of institutions, and build a more stable and peaceful international system.
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