As we grow closer to the end of July, it means only one thing…it is almost time to go back to school. This year though, there is a new book that politics majors, particularly world politics majors, should read. The book is called Redefining Sovereignty.
The book, edited by Orrin C. Judd, a blogger, includes writings from thirty individuals, each presenting their own views on the topic of sovereignty.
Mr. Judd spoke about the book and the issues it covers recently at the Heritage Foundation. Mr. Judd was joined by three of the contributors, Paul Driessen of the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, Ramesh Ponnuru of the National Review and Dr. Jeremy Rabkin who is a professor of Government at Cornell University.
Mr. Driessen spoke about “Eco-Imperialism,” which is when environmental extremists force their radical agendas on “the most impoverished people.” He also told the audience that government laws and regulations “still do a lot of good” when it comes to environmental protection, but environmentalist groups were becoming extreme in nature as a result of being “wealthy, politically powerful and radical.”
He stressed this point by examining what he called the “Circle of Life,” which helps both the environment and people and the “Circle of Death,” which causes humanity, especially in third world countries, to suffer all in the name of environmental protection. Mr. Driessen argued that environmentalism should revert from their current radical ideals and “put people first.”
Mr. Ponnuru spoke about the “Anglosphere.” The Anglosphere consists of countries that share the same characteristics. An example would be the common language of English. Mr. Ponnuru even joked that one of the bonding factors in the Anlgosphere was the game of cricket.
Dr. Rabkin told the audience that sovereignty was not dead, but that we should “restore it, revive it.”
He proposed two questions to the audience. First, “Are you in favor of world government?” Second, “Are you in favor of chaos?” He then explained that if your answer was no, “you are in favor of sovereignty.” Dr. Rabkin believes that “sovereignty goes along with the right to defend yourself.”
“The talk of sovereignty is a reminder that the world is not just one thing,” Dr. Rabkin stated. He went on to explain that the world is made up of “units.”
He also discussed sovereignty in regards to the Geneva Convention and other treatises. “All 150 articles of [the Geneva] Convention do not apply to all situations,” Dr. Rabkin explained.
Dr. Rabkin believes there is a problem in today’s world when it comes to ranking the importance of those in sovereign nations. He believes that ambassadors are more important than non-governmental officers, because ambassadors have the diplomatic powers and immunities that allow them to serve as a nation’s voice in another sovereign state. He blames the 1979 Tehran hostage situation and the Carter administration’s failure to act swiftly as the reason why many ambassadors have been killed in the past thirty years.
While they might be biased, the panel recommended that every college student should read the book. This is not a bad idea at all.
Matthew Murphy is an intern at Accuracy in Academia.