Globalism Undermines National Sovereignty By James Reed

Dissent Right journalist Ben Bartee has a long, academic style essay at his site on the ills of globalism. In particular, he makes the case in scholarly detail, that globalism undermines national sovereignty. That claim is basically axiomatic to us writing Dissent Right journalism, which does not really get to the footnote stage. Still, for students, the article may be of interest.


“Does globalization undermine national sovereignty?

Dovetailing with the issue of internationally-driven economic downturns resulting in austerity measures, the question of whether globalization objectively undermines national sovereignty – as well the subjective question of how its adverse impact on national sovereignty from the perspective of domestic constituents -- is essential for understanding how it affects electoral politics. Prior to the era of globalization beginning in the post-WWII era, national governments enjoyed near-total control over the goings-on in their respective internal economies. This has changed, as the reality that "national monetary sovereignty has been significantly compromised by financial globalization is clear… in financial matters, it is said, states have become essentially impotent." (Cohen, 2008, p.216) Capital flows into and out of the national economy beyond the regulatory capacity of the government. Accordingly, "an unintended consequence of financial globalization is the growing exposure of developing countries to financial instabilities associated with sudden stops of inflows of capital, capital flights, and deleveraging crises." (Aizenman, 2010, p. 217) The health of the national economy is no longer entirely or mostly dependent on domestic policymaking for globalized economies, for better or worse.

People move more freely across national borders in a globalized state as well. In addition to trade liberalization and capital flows, globalization is characterized "by transnational movements of people in search of better lives and employment opportunities elsewhere." (Cholewinski, 2005) Globalization has resulted in the increased freedom of movement of workers and tourists alike without regard for national borders: "The unprecedented volume and speed of human mobility are perhaps the most conspicuous manifestations of the present era of globalization…. the phenomenon’s main driving force is the global expansion of capitalism and the free-market system." (Knobler, et al., 2006) 

Increased freedom of movement is most evident in the case of the European Union, given the previously outlined, unprecedented transnational Schengen Area, joining together dozens of European states in a free movement zone with no internal migration controls. One of the "fundamental principles" of EU membership is the "free movement of workers… enshrined in Article 45 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and developed by EU secondary legislation and the Case law of the Court of Justice." (European Commission, n.d.) Under these provisions, EU citizens (which include every citizen of every EU member state) "are entitled to look for a job in another EU country, work there without needing a work permit, stay there even after employment has finished, [and] enjoy equal treatment with nationals in access to employment, working conditions and all other social and tax advantages." (European Commission, n.d.) This has important implications for domestic workers that will be explored further in a later section of this research.

Global capital, along with post-nuclear geopolitics, environmental danger, and identity politics, is considered by some analysts to be one of the four principle threats to the state in the modern era. (Mann, 1997, p. 472) Globalization, which "has forced states into increasing competition for hi-tech industrial advantage" (Manchester Business School, 2017) in the global marketplace, weakens the position of the state. It exerts less and less influence over economic activities within its borders: "If globalization, in part, involves the emergence of supra national [sic] authorities because of new transnational problems resulting from growing trade, foreign investment, financial market interdependence and rapid technological change within a globalizing economy, then it seems only too natural that this process too will lead to supra national authorities eventually acquiring more jurisdictional power and nation states declining." (Whalley, 1999, p. 1) This incursion of supranational authorities into areas of economic activity traditionally exclusively under the jurisdiction of states is a generally-held consensus, although some scholars like Mann point to the state's continued social existence and the disparate impacts of globalization on various states as evidence that they maintain their primacy in the present era. (Mann, 1997, p. 472)

Protectionism vs globalization

Globalization stands in stark contrast to trade protectionism, which "protects domestic industries from unfair foreign competition… [using] tariffs, subsidies, quotas, and currency manipulation." (Amadeo, 2022) Globalization is at odds with protectionist policies, as the latter are overwhelmingly favored by populist leaders who have "often used nationalism to justify protectionist policies that favor select domestic lobbies and have been at the forefront of trends in deglobalization." (Ciravegna & Michailova, 2022, p. 175) There is debate regarding the extent of deglobalization and whether it exists as a phenomenon, but what is indisputable, as documented in an upcoming section on "far-right" politics and parties, globalization has increasingly become a highly relevant political issue in national politics in Europe.

Protectionism is anathema to liberalism. As Amadi notes, "a major contradiction of liberalism is 'protectionism,' which is the process of imposing trade restrictions such as tariffs to boost domestic industry." (Amadi, 2020, p. 6) Under liberal theory, economic decisions are best left to the individual consumer outside of state influence to sort through cost, quality, etc. and make the most rational, self-interested decision possible. No preference is granted to domestically produced goods vs imported ones. The state does not intervene to favor domestic production over the import of foreign goods. Each nation unit produces the goods (and, increasingly in developed countries, the services) it is best suited to produce, based on its geographic location and human and natural resources. Adam Smith, one of the original purveyors of free trade, argued that if imported goods are cheaper than domestically produced ones, then importation makes good economic sense. (Smith, 1776, p.36) The EU has led the way in combating protectionism within its borders when it "implemented a program to create the world's largest single market and embarked on creating a common currency." (Hanson, 1998, p. 55) …”



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Wednesday, 31 May 2023

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