chapter  5
19 Pages

The perverse perseverance of sovereignty

It’s a familiar story: the withering away of the state under globalisation, or if not so much the state, the withering away of a certain idea and formation of sovereignty. A sovereignty that no longer possesses the fullness and power of its Westphalian ideal: a bounded territorial realm in which national authority is absolute, and that provides a representative and political principle through which states and their people can manage and control the forces that affect their lives. With the increasing globalisation of capital and trade, the growth of supranational regimes of economic governance such as the WTO, the interventionist zeal of the World Bank and the IMF, and the might and influence of the transnational corporation, sovereignty appears to be a thing of the past – the nostalgic ghost of a world transformed.