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Bargaining Sovereignty: State Power and Networked Governance in a Globalizing World (Report)

International Social Science Review 2010, Fall-Winter, 85, 3-4

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In the 1990s, much of the burgeoning globalization literature suggested that the state was under siege and declining. Globalizing forces, it was said, undermined the state because such forces were beyond the control of any single political entity. (1) However, the one-two punch of 9/11 and serial economic crises across the developing world which lasted from 1998 to 2002 swiftly shifted that discourse. In terms of national defense and economic crisis management, the state not only remained unchallenged, but seemed both indispensable and more powerful than ever. In fact, the current global financial crisis, which began in late 2008, has enhanced the power of major industrialized states. Given these circumstances, now is an opportune moment to examine the changed nature of state power in an age of globalization. Are traditional ideas of sovereignty becoming irrelevant? Will the supposed decline of the state be accompanied by a correlated rise of sub-national and supranational institutions? In a world where states, communities, and people are becoming more interconnected and interdependent, even networked, what will become of sovereignty? Will authority be the more relevant construct when sovereignty has been diluted, delegated, disaggregated, networked, and even "sold?" (2) How will the loss of sovereignty affect those citizens who have ceded some of their personal sovereignty to a state? This study offers tentative answers to these questions, and suggests that a new networked form of global governance will allow the state to retain its central role in international relations. All countries aspire to the traditional idea of sovereignty, that is, to either obtain domestic legitimacy and authority or to be recognized by the international community as equals among states, or both. Yet in many instances long-existing and newly created states have delegated authority and sovereignty to supranational transnational global governance institutions (e.g., France, Germany, and Italy and their relationship to the EU is representative of the former; Kosovo and East Timor are examples of the latter). Some states (e.g., Afghanistan and Iraq) have seen their sovereignty forcibly violated or removed entirely by military means, while others (e.g., Indonesia), though not physically coerced to recognize external authority, realistically have had no choice. Other states have effectively diluted or degraded their sovereignty and authority by using it, in effect, as a tradable resource (e.g., Lichtenstein's offshore banking operations, developing countries which trade votes in international organizations in exchange for aid, and Central American and African states that have recognized Taiwan in exchange for aid). In an ironic twist, some states are selling off rights granted by their sovereign status, if not outright selling their sovereignty itself. The irony is that, just as these states have made some headway in terms of asserting their independence and sovereignty, they are auctioning it to the highest bidder. Many micro-states, which are vulnerable to natural disasters and global economic shocks, and have limited resources, are selling their country-code top-level domain names (CCTLDN) of the World Wide Web to multinational advertising agencies. By doing so, they willingly relinquish much of the control that they would otherwise exercise over Internet functions within their borders. To be sure, this allows those governments to raise money, but at the same time it dilutes state sovereignty. This situation is similar to celebrities who endorse too many products; if someone sells the rights to their image to too many different entities, they ultimately may lose control over their own image or their endorsements. By flooding a market with so many endorsements, the overall value of any particular celebrity as an endorser becomes tainted or diluted. It is no different with states. Micro-states, such as the Cayman Islands, the Turk and Caicos Islands,

Bargaining Sovereignty: State Power and Networked Governance in a Globalizing World (Report)
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  • 2,99 €
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Social Science
  • Published: 22 September 2010
  • Publisher: Pi Gamma Mu
  • Print Length: 36 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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