State Sovereignty in the Age of Globalization: Will it Survive?

State Sovereignty in the Age of Globalization: Will it Survive?
Author: Grinin, Leonid
Almanac: Globalistics and Globalization Studies

The process of globalization undoubtedly contributes to the change and reduction of the scope of state sovereign powers. The list of threats to state sovereignty often includes global financial flows, multinational corporations, global media empires, and the Internet etc. At the same time (note that this point is debated surprisingly little and occasionally), since the end of World War II, increasingly more states have been willingly and consciously limiting their sovereign rights. And what is extremely important, many countries quite often give away some of their sovereign powers voluntarily. In the article, it is argued that the factor of voluntariness in reducing one's own authority is, no doubt, the most important in understanding the future of the state.

There are several reasons for such voluntariness and ‘altruism’, including the fact that such a restriction becomes profitable, as in return the countries expect to gain quite real advantages especially as members of regional and interregional unions. The transformation of sovereignty proceeds somehow almost in all countries. However, it is more characteristic of Western countries.

Keywords: globalization, state, sovereignty, reducing sovereignty, nationalism, global policy, civilizations.

Introduction: The Transition to a New State of Sovereignty

The process of globalization undoubtedly contributes to the change and reduction of the scope of state sovereign powers. The problems of national sovereignty in political science have always played an essential role since the late 16th century with Jean Bodin's Six Books of the Commonwealth. However, no wonder that in the last two or three decades there appeared new aspects in this field, especially in the context of discussing issues of globalization and the new world order. In the field of political science the subject of change, ‘diffusion’, or the ‘disappearing’ of national sovereignty started to be raised in the late 20th – early 21st century in connection with the problems of globalization and new world order (see, e.g., Giddens 1990; Walker and Mendlovitz 1990a; Barkin and Cronin 1994; Farer 1996; Gelber 1997; Held еt al. 1999; Grinin 1999a; Gilpin 2001; Gans 2001; Courchene and Savoie 2003a; Held and McGrew 2003b; Weiss 2003; Tekin 2005; Ilyin 1993b; Ilyin and Inozemtsev 2001; Tsymbursky 1993 etc.).[1] In my opinion, processes of sovereignty change are among the most significant nowadays. It is reasonable to speak about the transition of most countries and the system of international relations in general to a new state of sovereignty. Presumably, if such processes (of course, with much fluctuation) gain strength it will surely affect all spheres of life, including changes in ideology and social psychology (the moment is still underestimated by many analysts).

On the one hand, much is spoken about the way globalization strengthens factors that objectively weaken the countries' sovereignties. On the other hand (note that this point is debated surprisingly little and occasionally), since postwar times, increasingly more states have been willingly and consciously limiting their sovereign rights. In the present article, particular attention is paid to the study of deliberate voluntary reduction of sovereign prerogatives in the wide context of changing national sovereignty.

Therefore, it is important to recognize that change and reduction of volume and scope (as well as nomenclature) of state sovereign powers is a bilateral process: on the one hand, the factors fairly undermining the countries' sovereignty are strengthening, on the other – most states voluntarily and deliberately limit the scope of their sovereignty. Naturally, one can also speak about the whole range of important directions, tendencies and processes, which constitute a manifold and complicated (and in many respects contradictory) dynamics of world political processes; and, as a consequence, they do not only limit sovereignty but also, in a way, evidently consolidate it (see, e.g., Weiss 2003; Courchene and Savoie 2003b: 8–9; for the analysis of various views on the problems see Thomson 1995; Held and McGrew 2003a, 2003b).

Thus, in this article I will discuss an important and interesting problem: why states lose their sovereignty, and furthermore, why they voluntary renounce their sovereign prerogatives. These processes are an integral part and result of globalization. However, the modern world is changing rapidly, so it is important to note that in the article I will describe the processes as observed before the beginning of the global financial crisis. The crisis has not changed inherently the process of sovereignty transformation, but still it has produced some evident modifications in it. I will quite briefly discuss some of these modifications in the final section of the article, because the analysis of changes brought about by the crisis in the process of globalization as well as political transformations (including sovereignty change) at the moment and in the near future have been presented in detail in our articles in the Journal of Globalization Studies (see, Grinin and Korotayev 2010a, 2010b; see also Grinin 2009c, 2010b, 2011b, 2012).

1. Why is the Notion of Sovereignty Difficult and Ambiguous?

In political science sovereignty is usually defined as the most essential attribute of the state in the form of its complete self-sufficiency, that is its supremacy in domestic policy and independence in the foreign one (see, e.g., Jary and Jary 1999: 311; Averyanov 1993: 367; Held 2003: 162–163). This notion became widespread in the 19th century. But already at the beginning of the Modern Age it received quite definite interpretations in works by Machiavelli, Bodin, Hobbes and others (see, e.g., Held 2003: 162–163; Hinsley 1989; Shinoda 2000; Ilyin 1993a, 1993b, 2001).

Within the Westphalian system of international relations (formed after the Thirty Year War and 1648 Peace Treaties of Westphalia, see, e.g., Gross 1948) the principles of state sovereignty gradually obtained a Europe-wide and later a universal appreciation (about these principles see Held et al. 1999: 37–38). However, it is important to note that this ‘normative trajectory’ of international law was fully described only by the end of the 18th – early 19th century (Ibid.: 37), this was especially connected to the events of the Great French Revolution, and also with Napoleon Wars and a new order established after the Vienna Congress in 1815 (on this see, e.g., Gelber 1997: 4; Barkin and Cronin 1994: 115; Shinoda 2000). At present, the UNO Charter and some other international agreements contain regulations on the states' sovereign equality and nations' right to self-determination which together with the increasing degree of external security of most countries, in our view has sufficiently contributed to the consolidation of the idea of national sovereignty in international affairs in the second half of the 20th century. Indeed, as we will see further, the tendency toward the recognition of the sovereign rights combines with the tendency toward their voluntarily constraint by the sovereigns themselves.

However, the notion of sovereignty is one of the most difficult and ambiguous to agree on (see, e.g., Maritain 1950; Stankiewicz 1969: 291; Barkin and Cronin 1994; Krasner 2001: 134) as its content has constantly changed and continues changing in connection with the transformations of international relations and characteristics of the states themselves. Thus, the notion of sovereignty is not straightforward because of complexity of the notion of state (see, e.g., Kratochwil 1986; Mitchell 1991; Barkin and Cronin 1994; see also Grinin 2006a, 2007e; 2012: ch. 1.5; about the cradle of European state sovereignty see de Mesquita 2000; see also Ruggie 1993). This content also changes depending on who is implied as the supreme sovereign: a feudal monarch with the right to ‘grant or split states when sharing the inheritance’, an enlightened absolute monarch who acts on behalf of people, or a nation itself (see, e.g., Yan 1996). Besides, the sovereignty that is absolute in the theory of states was always strongly and even fatally limited by different factors (see, e.g., Garner 1925; Shinoda 2000). Sovereignty can be regarded positive and negative sovereignty[2] (see Jackson 1990) and there are other varieties stemming there from.

In other words, the notion of sovereignty is not univocal and indisputable but provokes numerous debates and, thus, demands a considerable elaboration, including various approaches to the classification of the states themselves possessing sovereignty. Giddens, for example, distinguishes state-nations and nation-states correspondingly as typologically earlier and later (Giddens 1985, 1990, 1991; Giddens and Pierson 1998; see also Barkin and Cronin 1994). There is a multitude of other theories, for example, of quasi-states (Jackson 1990), not to mention the theories of failed states (Rotberg 2004), fragile states (Hagesteijn 2008) etc.[3]

In political science one gradually becomes aware of the necessity of re-interpretation and re-appraisal of the notion of ‘sovereignty’ in connection with the emergence of the world political community, defining boundaries of private sovereignty, principles of their combination with each other and building their hierarchy, and also taking into consideration actions of other different subjects: MNC, numerous non-governmental organizations, multinational structures and arrangements, also considering the development of various global ideologies, for example, Global Civil Society (see, e.g., Averyanov 1993: 368; Utkin 2000: 41–42; Luneev 2005: 114–115; Vincent 1986; Walker and Mendlovitz 1990b; Camilleri 1990; Barkin and Cronin 1994; Thomson 1995; Daniels and Alarie 2003; Johnson and Mayrand 2003; Keane 2003; Laxer and Halperin 2003; Tekin 2005). One can agree with Harry Gelber's conclusion that the last decade of the 20th century showed the national state's incapacity to solve an increasing complexity of problems (Gelber 1997: 12). In particular, the 1990s witnessed the appearance of numerous works on different aspects of the sovereignty notion because of the events connected with direct interference and military intervention (including the ones sanctioned by the UN) with respect to particular countries such as Iraq, Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia and others (see, e.g., Mayall 1991; Roberts 1991: 519–520; Helman and Ratner 1992–1993; Rosas 1994; Tesón 1996; Acevedo and Grossman 1996; Diamond 1996; Regan 1996).[4]

2. Globalization, Economy, and Global Policy

Globalization is a result of a very complicated alloy of political, social, economic, civilizational and many other processes of the modern world (see, e.g., Modelski et al. 2008; Eisenstadt 2010; Etzioni 2011). However, among these numerous factors one should especially mark out the huge changes in modern productive forces, technologies, media, world trade and specialization (Medvedev 2004: 3; Grinin 1999а, 2005, 2007b). It is significant that many researchers first of all point out the economic nature of globalization (e.g., Zuev and Myasnikova 2004: 54; Kaplinsky 2003: 4; see also Anilionis and Zotova 2005). But one should keep in mind a significant fundamental idea that we have already maintained (Grinin 1999а, 2005, 2007b, 2009b, 2011b): to consider economic and technical changes as an ‘engine’ of globalization means to admit a non-stop character of globalization process or the impossibility to break or turn it back, as nowadays it is impossible to stop or hamper the development of new technologies.[5]

Technology and trade entangle the world with new network connections and make national boundaries transparent (see Strange 2003; Held 2003; Habermas 2003; Daniels and Alarie 2003; Russel 1997; Beck 2001; Castells 1999, 2002; see also Grinin 1999a, 2005, 2006b, 2007b; Katzenstein, Keohane, and Krasner 1998; Reuveny 2010; Heshmati and Lee 2010; Yeoman 2010). Such a situation combined with other factors harshly complicates the external conditions that society must deal with (Ivanov 2000: 14; see also Kratochwil 1986; Hansen and Park 1995). As a result, globalization significantly reduces and changes the scope of national sovereignty and undermines the position of a state as that of the principle subject of international affairs (see Grinin 1999a, 2005, 2007b, 2009d, 2009e). Thus, changes in production forces in this or that way lead to changes of all other spheres of life including also the political one.

All this brings about an important conclusion that we have already pointed out in other works (Grinin 2005, 2007b, 2009e): if a reduction of sovereignty appears to be an inevitable result of globalization, then this will imply huge changes in behavioral patterns of states, corporations and groups, as well as of ordinary people. And though debates about the destinies of a state (whether it is dying or consolidating) are quite frequent (see, e.g., Thomson 1995; Gilpin 2001; Held and McGrew 2003a: 121–125; Tekin 2005), the consequence in question is less frequently discussed.[6]

Only quite recently in a number of works, globalization (following some American political scientists) is sometimes defined as a process of the USA's will to obtrude on the rest of the world, as part of the process of establishing a new world order that is profitable for the USA (on this see Bazhanov 2004; Brzezinski 1997; Medvedev 2004: 3; Stolyarova 2002: 72; Terentiev 2004; Collins 2002: 118). There were many prophecies that Pax Americana would be established. But the fact is that the presence of some tendencies does not mean that the future is already predetermined. However, even now the USA's influence is evident and quite real.[7] The situation is changing dramatically (for more detail see Grinin 2010; Grinin, Korotayev 2010b) as some scholars propose (see, e.g., Todd 2003).[8]

Thus, the directions, forms and results of the processes will constantly depend on the changing balance of the world forces, on the strategy that will be chosen by these or those countries and associations, on different geopolitical factors and combinations. In my opinion, it means that those who are longing to play a more important role in integrating and changing the world must forecast and foresee the tendencies that can be used for benefit (about the available possibilities for the lesser countries see: Harris 2003: 65). But what is globalization after all? There does not exist a generally accepted definition and presumably it will not appear in the immediate future, as far as it has most diverse meanings (for some interpretations of globalization see, e.g., Eisenstadt 2010; Kiss 2010; Gay 2010; concerning the formal measuring of globalization see Dreher et al. 2010). Without any claim to an unequivocal definition, I would determine it in the following way. Globalization is a process by which the parts, countries, peoples etc. of the world become more connected and more dependent on each other. Both the increase in the quantity of problems common for states and the expansion of the number and types of globalization' subjects of take place.

In other words, there emerges a peculiar system where the problems of separate countries, nations, regions and other subjects (corporations, different associations, global media holding companies etc.) interlace into one tangle. Separate local events and conflicts affect a great number of countries. At the same time decisions in the most significant centers of the world have an effect on all the fates. In general the processes of globalization in the broadest sense are characterized by the abrupt intensification and complication of mutual contacts in the basic spheres of economic, political and social life, gaining planetary scales (Ivanov 2004: 19). Globalization is an exclusively versatile process. Practically all spheres of life experience its impact (see, e.g., Giddens 2004).[9] Lots of positive as well as negative phenomena also gain a global character, for example, the struggle for the preservation of environment, human rights (Sapkota 2011; Taran 2011; Collins 2010), the antiglobal movement itself (see, e.g., Levin 2003; Gay 2010; Xu Yanling 2010), terrorism and crime (see, e.g., Mirsky 2004b: 80; Luneev 2005: 114–115), drug mafia (Glenny 2008) etc. In this respect the idea of globalizing Islam and other religions is of great interest (Roy 2004; Mirsky 2004a: 35; see also: Schaebler and Stenberg 2004; Eisenstadt 2010; Robertson 2011).

Any development always means that some changes make the situation sometimes worse in comparison with the previous events (for more details see Grinin 1997: 68–69; 2006c: 92–94; 2007e). In my opinion, the reducing of the scope of sovereign prerogatives leads both to positive and negative consequences (see, e.g., Kiss 2010; Bauman 2011; Etzioni 2011; Krastev 2011). Thus, the greater than before openness of boundaries provides not only the increase of trade but also contributes to the expansion of terrorism and facilitates drug traffic (Glenny 2008). At the same time, the balance of advantages and disadvantages looks different for different countries, regions, territories and even different social strata. This implies such an ambiguous perception of globalization. It is not in vain that its critics point at the irregularity in benefiting globalization and the increasing gap in the living standard of different countries (see, e.g., Capra 2004: 171).[10] It is important to note that setting up the outlines of a new order, globalization thereby breaks the old one, functioning within the state system's framework, therefore, the speed of the destruction of old relations often exceeds the speed of the formation of the new ones. In particular, in a number of countries this is manifested in the destruction of traditional ideology, based on sacralization of fatherland and nations, and consequently, in the weakening of such previously highly evaluated qualities as patriotism due to the growth of alternative to the national preferences and identifications. But globalization has not created instead any complete ideology to fascinate masses. This is one of the main reasons, why the Western variant of globalization appears (at present) unacceptable for many non-Western societies.

Elsewhere I have already discussed both the above-mentioned idea and the point that national boundaries become a far less serious barrier for modern technical and economic forces than before (for more details see Grinin 1999a; 2006b: 158–159; 2007f, 2007g, 2011b, 2012). Many factors contribute to this, especially the powerful development of trade, transport, and the role of the international capital, MNC etc. (see Strange 2003; Held 2003; Habermas 2003; Castells 1999, 2002). It is also worth keeping in mind that in the process of world globalization not only states but also more and more territories and regions interact with each other (Grebenschikov 2004: 89). I have also pointed out that the most rapid-growing branches of industry are just supranational in their nature. As a case in point, I can mention space technologies or Internet which are more and more actively used for commercial purposes. Figuratively speaking, a person nowadays acquires functions of a mini-station accepting and transmitting different information often leaving aside national boundaries (for more details see Grinin 1999а, 2004, 2005).

The close interconnections of national economies lead to rapid and moreover, the uncontrollable reacting to the local and a fortiori global crises. This fact has been confirmed by a number of financial crises that happened in the last two decades. George Soros concludes (2000) that financial markets are unpredictable and unstable in their nature. One of the main reasons of such instability is the fact that political institutes fall behind the economy which overgrows national limits and requires supranational planning (Van der Wee 1994: 374) and some forms of joint control over oscillation of financial and other markets.

3. Globalization and Reducing Sovereignty

As has been stated above, in practice the sovereign rights and powers both of states and of nations were always limited by various factors (see, e.g., Krasner 1995–1996). Nevertheless, in theorists' minds ‘Westphalian sovereignty’ (i.e. unlimited sovereign rights) still exists. In present days, it becomes clearer that the Westphalian system with its principles of international relations has fundamentally changed.[11] It is also important to mention that today the idea of the states' free play seems wrong even from a purely theoretical point of view. The thing is that the scope of the inner sovereignty has legally narrowed to a large degree due to the international agreements including issues concerning human rights (see Averyanov 1993: 368; Vincent 1986; Chopra and Weiss 1992; Shinoda 2000) and in connection with already formed models and traditions of states' behavior.

As Michael Mann (1997) correctly observes in the works dedicated to the transformation of position and role of a state in the modern world, we often observe a one-sided debate on the issue whether the state system becomes stronger or weaker. Meanwhile the process appears to be quite complicated and ambiguous; in some way the positions of the state system are weakening but in other ways they become stronger (see also Yan 1996: 49).[12] Thus, Susanne Strange insists that under the influence of intense economic processes state power becomes weaker and at the same time notes with surprise that the state has started regulating this issue, which before people solved themselves without any state involvement, in particular how to build their own houses, how to arrange family relations, so that from her point of view there is almost no sphere where the state bureaucracy would not intervene (Strange 2003: 128). She calls it a paradox though this is quite natural, as such processes never go unilinearly and only in a single direction. The general trajectory is always a complicated balance of alternative changes, though at the same time the system's weakening usually combines with strengthening of some of its aspects – it occurs at the expense of its components' conversion and changes in hierarchy levels.

In connection with the stated above, I would like to put special emphasis on the definite narrowness of approaches even in the investigations concerned with sovereignty since many authors study the issue only from the point that powerful world-economic supranational and to a great degree anonymous powers influence the transformation of national sovereignty, changing it on the whole as if in spite of or even contrary to the will of the states themselves (see, e.g., Keohane 1995; Held 2003; Clark 1999; Slaughter 2000; Strange 2003). The list of threats to state sovereignty often includes global financial flows, multinational corporations, global media empires, Internet, etc. and, of course, international interventions, as we see now in Libya. The globalists maintain that state authority is greatly weakened by these processes which lead to boundary transparency – David Held and Anthony McGrew (2003a: 124) sum up such views (see Fig.1).

At the same time another aspect of the problem is almost unnoticed (or it is regarded insufficiently important), which I consider an exceptionally important one: sovereignty to a large (probably, prevalent) degree is reduced voluntarily by national states themselves. I have already pointed out to those aspects and investigated them in a number of works (see Grinin 1999а, 2004, 2005, 2006b, 2007b, 2008a, 2008c, 2011b, 2012).

Fig. 1. State sovereignty transformation factors

In my opinion there is a whole range of factors influencing the process of national sovereignty change including, of course, technological and economic changes (see above; for more details see also Grinin 1999а, 1999b, 2007b, 2007f, 2007g), the aspiration for avoiding wars, the presence of global problems uniting countries, the processes of regional rapprochement, rapid extension of the scope of contacts of all types and levels among residents of different countries; the necessity of solving numerous issues and settling controversial questions, an increasing number of democratic regimes in the world, etc. However, the factor of voluntariness in reducing the scope of powers for the sake of gaining extra prestige and benefits may be considered among them as the most significant, moreover, this very fact, as far as I can see, defines the necessity of this movement.[13] Thereupon, I would like to draw attention to the major process lasting since the end of World War II, whereby many countries deliberately start limiting themselves in seemingly most sovereign things (for more details see Grinin 1999а, 2004, 2005, 2006b, 2007d, 2007g, 2008a, 2009c, 2009d).

It is enough even to cast a brief glance at the spheres where sovereignty was voluntarily reduced as described above. These voluntary reductions include: the right to impose duties and taxation and define their rate; to forbid and reward import and export of goods (capitals) and some types of activity; to issue currency; to borrow; to set the rules of keeping the imprisoned and usage of their labor; to use the capital punishment; to proclaim these or those politic liberties or restrict them; to define fundamental rules of elections (and to hold them proper) and electoral qualification, and also a great number of other more or less important points, including smoking rules. The state has stopped to define them solely by itself. Not so long ago the Europeans refused the sanctum sanctorum – their own national currencies that had been developed for centuries for the sake of a common currency (euro). Finally, what has always been regarded the major thing in sovereignty – the right of war and peace – is under international control. It was only 50 years ago when Russell and Einstein in their famous manifesto wrote: ‘The abolition of war will demand distasteful limitations of national sovereignty’ (see Adamovich and Shakhnazarov 1988: 185). Today such control no longer hurts national pride. World wars and totalitarianism showed that absolute sovereignty including also the right to unleash wars and repressions is dangerous.[14] Hence it is possible to make an important and on the whole obvious conclusion: the range of the state's internal affairs where nobody intervenes and which are regulated only by national law and traditions, are contracting and international law or law of a definite community (of collective participation) is expanding (Grinin 2005, 2007c, 2008b, 2009a, 2009d).[15]

Thus, one can summarize that the voluntary reduction of sovereignty means in practice and from the juridical point of view: a) the expansion in national practice of norms of some international agreements, declarations, conventions etc.; b) the recognition of these or those norms of international law as dominant over the national ones; c) the recognition of these or those decisions of a definite international agency (e.g., the court) as the dominant over the decisions of national bodies; d) finally, the voluntary delegation of the authorities to the supranational, regional or world associations, which seems to me an especially important contemporary phenomenon.

On the whole, the process of voluntary sovereignty reduction, to my mind, also signifies a profound transformation of the world political system which sooner or later will demand a formation of a definite supranational political order. Besides, this means that since today many economic and other forces act as the ones undermining national states, the new order will be created to a great degree just for the sake of getting control over weakly controllable actors.

Undoubtedly, in history one can find many cases of voluntary obligations and pacts, which significantly restricted the sovereignty of sovereigns and countries. Take for example the Holy Union and its interventions into the revolutionary countries in the first half of the 19th century (Male 1938), or the customs union of the German States of the first half of the 19th century (Deni and Sayo 1938: 78–80). The processes of internationalization have already been going on for centuries, constantly accelerating. But as we have already mentioned (Grinin 1999a; 2005: 16–17), the prevalence and power of these processes in the past and at present are incomparable, in other words nowadays they have obtained a qualitatively different level in comparison with past epochs. First, they have embraced the whole world. Second, economic alliances were uncommon before and now they have become the most typical form of associations. Some of the economic organizations (such as the WTO, IMF) encompass the majority of countries of the world. The scale and aims of political associations have also changed. Third, the intensity and regularity of state leaders' contacts have grown enormously. In addition, the problems they solve have changed greatly. Fourth, only a few countries are able to carry out an isolationist policy today and avoid any associations (like the policy of ‘brilliant isolation’ that Great Britain carried out in the 19th century).

To emphasize the above-said, one might note that (though it may sound strange) today maximum sovereignty (i.e., the minimum restrictions of sovereign rights) is possessed by the countries that are closed ideologically (China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and some other Muslim countries) and also at the same time economically (such as North Korea, or Cuba), and exactly because of their ‘sovereign rights’ (in particular to create nuclear weapons) sharp conflicts tend to occur. But on the whole even these countries' sovereignty starts to diminish.[16] As for sufficiently open and developed countries, the tendency to delegate their powers to the international, regional and world organizations and associations is obvious. The only exception is the USA which at times allows itself to act, regardless of the opinion of other countries, openly putting their national interests above that of the world and their allies (see, e.g., Kissinger 2002: 2; Brzezinski 2004). But it seems that just in this confrontation between the USA and other countries who express a certain collective opinion, probably are the roots of the main intrigues that will affect future changes of the world as well as the transformation of the content of international relations principles (see Grinin 1999а: 28–29; 2005: 9, 25–26; see also Todd 2003). Yet recently, especially due to the financial and budget crisis, the USA does not oppose its interests to those the other countries as openly as before.

There is completely no doubt that today, in comparison with the past, the sovereignty of completely free and independent countries has diminished significantly. As emphasized, it is extremely important to note that many countries quite often give away some of their sovereign powers voluntarily (on the situation in some Asian countries see below). I think that such ‘altruism’ can be seriously explained only by the fact that such a restriction becomes profitable as countries expect to gain quite real advantages (see, e.g., Zlokazova 2004: 68). It is quite natural that such an ‘exchange’ has become possible in principle only because of the powerful influence of the processes described above (and many unmentioned but implicit). In my view, world public opinion must be mentioned as an important cause of sovereignty reduction: the wider is the circle of countries voluntarily limiting their sovereignty, the more inferior appear those states that do not make such restrictions.

As has been mentioned above in political science it is realized to a certain degree that the doctrine of national sovereignty has become old-fashioned (Kissinger 2002: 296), moreover, the UN Secretaries General Butros Butros-Ghali and Kofi Annan touched on these problems in their speeches and articles (see, e.g., Annan 1999; see the analysis of his ideas in ICISS 2001). However it seems that most researchers still underestimate the gravity of sovereignty changes and the necessity to re-think this notion itself in the context of modern processes as well as a great number of others, connected with it. At the same time I agree that the state still remains (and will endure for quite a long time) principally the superior unit of historical and political life.

However, the scope of sovereign rights in the modern world has been greatly redistributed. In particular, a number of quite important authorities are transferred immediately from states to supranational associations and institutes. The sovereignty is more often distributed between supranational, national, subnational, and sometimes regional and municipal units (Yan 1996: 49). Consequently, as has been mentioned above, new powerful factors have appeared and in the long run these factors will gradually deprive the state of the principal sovereign position and will give this place to larger supranational formations and structures. I believe this tendency will increase.

On the other hand, without fail I would like to add that this is not a one-sided and univocal but a many-sided process: sovereignty will reduce somehow (e.g., in the matters concerning economic strategy) but still in some way, it will become stronger and even grow. Thus, Egbert Yan, for example, considers that the state's ethnical-linguistic, cultural and social functions will increase (Yan 1996: 49). That is why it is dangerous to be in too much of a hurry to bury the nation-state, for a long time it will remain the leading player in international affairs (as on the whole one should be cautious enough while forecasting the global political changes see, e.g., Bobrow 1999; Doran 1999). Besides, as some scholars fairly point out, the abrupt reduction of sovereignty and traditional functions of a state may cause chaos (Utkin 2000: 41–42).

Though sovereignty is contracting, I find this principle significant itself (more exactly – the appeal to it in certain cases), and it will probably long remain one of the most important in the international affairs. That is why its open disrespect will continue to provoke condemnation. When old ideas are still alive and the new ones have not become firmly established, the collisions may obtain a form of opposition of principles and this can hide their historical significance. In that case it is difficult to understand who is right, who is wrong. For instance, if one bases oneself on the right of the strong to openly trample on the sovereignty principle even with respect to a dictatorial regime, the sympathy may appear on the per se reactionary side. The war in Iraq in 2003 proves this. That is why it appears that in the legal and moral aspects really irreproachable arguments are desirable which would be based on the world organizations decisions (the UNO in the first place).[17] That is why the sanctions of exactly this kind are important to support the actions against the regimes-disturbers (see, e.g., Arbatov 2004: 77).[18]

Therefore, as has been shown above, since the end of World War II the tendency is more clearly revealed that countries gradually delegate a part of their sovereignty to the world international organizations. Even a large portion of sovereignty passes to regional associations. And the integration of states in suprastate economic associations is becoming a more important part of globalization. Such supranational formations are present on almost all continents and in some cases a transformation of economic alliances into political ones is outlined. Of course, the process of creating some formed, systematically and profoundly integrated suprastate formations cannot be quick. Neither will it be smooth in my opinion, since all its members cannot ignore their own interests and in this or that way they will defend their interests against the others. Besides, within the countries themselves different political powers interpret national goals quite differently. In other words, the adjustment of the supra- and intrastate interests is a difficult problem, and different confrontations are inevitable here. Besides, common aims also may be interpreted in a different way. In this sense, a very significant example is that of the USA which is able to bring together into a tight knot its purely national narrow political problems (such as the coming elections or the necessity to increase the president's popularity) with world interests.

4. Reducing Sovereignty and Nationalism

Globalization as has been proved by different studies (e.g., Ryan 1997; Bahcheli et al. 2004b; Grinin 1999а, 2005, 2009a; Grinin and Korotayev 2009) produces a dual effect with respect to nationalism. On the one hand, one can observe a tendency to reduce national sovereignty, and also a significant growth of nationalism when even the smallest nationalities strive for their own sovereignty (about such unacknowledged nations see, e.g., Bahcheli et al. 2004a). I have arrived at the explanation of the reasons for separatism in the present period, which at first glance may seem paradoxical: nationalism is gaining strength because states are weakening as systems (for more details see Grinin 1999a, 2005, 2009b). However, there is no real paradox here, especially taking into account that for most states security is actually provided by the world community and the strongest states (see, e.g., Pugh 1997; see also Grinin 1999a, 2005, 2007a). Besides, nations are not eternal essences but ethnopolitical societies, forming mostly within the state framework (Gellner 1991; Balibar and Wallerstein 2003; Armstrong 1982: 4) and under the influence of technological changes (concerning the influence of printing technologies on the formation of nations see, e.g., McLuhan 2005: 408 and others).[19] Under certain conditions their solidarity and homogeneity intensify and under others weaken. So, creating supranational systems in the 20th century proceeded parallel with the destruction of colonial empires as well as old and newly created states, especially multinational ones (see, e.g., about Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia's collapse: Bookman 1994). Note that some of them looked rather stable (the USSR, and earlier in the beginning of the process, Austria-Hungary). And such a collapse, as I see it, fulfils in a certain sense a progressive role, facilitating regional and world integration. But it is a morbid and destructive progress, which confirms the above-said ideas that a progress and regress go hand in hand. The matter in fact is in their balance.

Thus, I am inclined to believe that, on the one hand, we may expect the forthcoming decades when acute national problems will arise in different regions and countries, since the reasons for nationalist and secessionist conflicts are quite diverse (for a survey on this subject see, e.g., Brown 1997; Beiner 1999; Diamond and Plattner 1994; Macartney 1996 [1934]; Özkirimli 2000; Voronovich and Romanchuk 2009). On the other hand, the belief is growing that the nation's right to self-determination has turned into the ‘opium for peoples’ (see Altermatt 2000: 104; about the correlation between mono-ethnic and polyethnic states and the reasons for the rise of nationalism in the latter see also: Zagladin et al. 1995: 180–205). As Mikhail Ignatieff puts it, the narcissism of small differences between ethnoses start to flourish (Ignatieff 1999), and today the consolidating ethnic ideology forms almost the main resource for a revival of violence (Wieviorka 2003: 109). However, at the same time, albeit inconsistently and with difficulty, a negative attitude toward the abuse of this right is formed in the world public opinion. Therefore, in my opinion, aggressive nationalism that gradually splits up the states and produces a threat to the world order must diminish. The disappearance of nations and national differences is out of question. The process will develop in the proper direction when national affairs, problems and relations move from the sphere of the highest politics and heated fights to a quieter level, as happened with the relations among different directions of Christianity in the majority of European countries.

However, it is worth mentioning that the level of nationalism in different countries correlates with their level of economic and political-cultural development. For example, in some Asian as well other regional states, nationalism has not yet reached its culmination in contrast to European states. The matter is the level of economy and economic relations development in certain peripheral countries most probably belongs to industrial type than to a postindustrial one. Accordingly, the level of nationalism is higher there, in large regional states it is just suitable for playing the hegemonic role in their regions (see Grinin 2008a). In some Asian and Latin American states which are economically rising and ideologically consolidating, ‘nationalism’ frequently emerges as a state ideology shared by the population. That is why ‛nationalism’ in large regional countries as the ideology of the state and citizens quite often awakes accompanied with the striving for maintaining their sovereign rights including rights to have nuclear weapons etc. (This is a suitable way to attract the international community's attention to a state for a long period as for instance Iran does.) Thus, for instance, a successful nuclear test in India has become an object of Hindu national pride although it has provoked strong anxiety in the USA and Western countries (Srinivas 2002). The same situation of nation exultation has been occurred in the result of successful Indian tests of the nuclear-capable missile Agni-V in 19 April 2012 (see The Sentinel 2012).

In Arab countries, Islamic ideology, which made all Muslims ‘brothers,’ has always hindered the growth of nationalism. But nowadays in some Arab countries, including oil-producing ones, violent contradictions between the ideas of the state system and Islamist ideology appear and gain strength. The reason is that the state always requires a certain order, submission, recognition of its prevailing interests (in fact, this is the essence of internal sovereignty), at the same time Islamic fundamentalists believe that the interests of a state must yield to general Islamic interests. This led to the support of terrorism unapproved by the state, which is provided by different radical groups in Islamic countries. All this always leads to some tension in the society which sometimes results in the open struggle between the forces of state sovereignty and forces of Islamic internationalism (the examples of Algeria, Turkey, Egypt are quite significant but the indicated tension exists in Saudi Arabia and in a number of other Arab countries). The turbulent events of the late 2010, 2011 and 2012 in a number of Arabian countries can be also considered as a transition of the mentioned contradiction to a new level. On the one hand, they manifest Arabian nationalism as in those actions by political organizations which have affiliates in many Arabian countries. On the other hand, the reinforcement of the Islamists' power because of revolutions and elections shows that the transformation of sovereignty in Arabian countries takes quite peculiar forms of a national-religious nature. One cannot ignore the increasing influence of Saudi Arabia aiming at weakening the powerful political regimes in the Near East and establishing its own hegemony in the region (for the analysis of events of the Arab spring with respect to global trends see Grinin 2012b; Grinin and Korotayev 2012). This means a temporary retreat of nationalism in Arab countries, yet there is a chance that further social revolutions could contribute to the strengthening of nationalism.

5. Different Issues of National Sovereignty Change

It is essential to show that although the process of change and reduction of sovereignty to a great or less extent refers to an overwhelming majority of countries but still the basic trends of voluntary reduction of the scope of sovereign prerogatives are very different in Europe, the USA, Russia, the CIS, the Islamic world, Far Eastern states, North and Tropical Africa, Latin America and other non-Western regions. Moreover, the future of non-Western cultures depends much on the way this process will proceed.

First of all, it is worth noting that the voluntary reduction of sovereignty is more characteristic of Western (or closely related with them economically or culturally) countries. The transformation of sovereignty in other civilizations and countries with different cultural traditions proceeds with more difficulty and also is closely connected with the level of economic development. These countries are usually not post-industrial, but industrial or agrarian-industrial, that is they belong to the type of states tightly connected with sovereignty and the state regulations or protection. Perhaps, just for this reason the regional powerful states like China, India,[20] Pakistan and Brazil are less inclined to reduce their sovereignty as compared with the European countries. For China's and India's level the classical (Westphalian) type of state sovereignty is much more preferable than the present (or more precisely coming) type, a vague and obscure one. Nevertheless, one should emphasize that Japan is also not at all in a hurry to demonstrate a reduction in its sovereignty.

China's striking economic success drives a number of scientists to conclude that China will play one of the most important or even leading roles in the future global world (for the discussion on this point see Grinin 2010, 2011a, 2012a; Grinin, Korotayev 2010b, 2012). China is vitally interested in its own economic integration into the world economy, therefore, it cannot but support globalization. Despite this economic pro-globalization stance, the Chinese government attempts in every way to control other, especially cultural, global impacts. Yunxiang Yan (2002) quite exactly calls it guided globalization (see also Shir 2007).

Lately, India has been demonstrating prominent economic results (Srinivas 2002). It is quite unusual for an Asia power as more or less firm democratic institutions have been established there. At the same time the power in India is based on the principles of the modern national state, while also representing an original model of a multicultural world, where different religions, ethnic groups, classes and castes coexist. Besides, India itself is, to a certain degree, ‘an exporter’ of a number of other cultural models, which became the whole world's property like meditation, yoga, Tantrism etc. (for more details see Srinivas 2002; see also Basa 2004; Mondal 2006).

The second point is the following. As regards the particular reasons for the convergence of certain societies, it should be taken into account that in the condition of a certain bifurcation which the world is currently going through, new lines and vectors contributing to the countries uniting into supranational establishments, unions, groups, blocs and clusters depend on a variety of reasons, among which a certain feature of proximity may turn out to be critical. Beside geographical proximity, economic relations and common political (geopolitical) interests, the affinities between culture, world view and style of living (i.e. civilizational affinity) can also be very strong and lead to convergence in many cases. These specific political, cultural, and religious features may lead to the creation of some special regional or even interregional supranational approximation models. For example, Chilean political scientist Talavera asks, whether there is a special Latin way of action in the globalized world? He states, there is such a way and quite particular indicators exist which confirm this. Further on, he points to the formation of a development variant implying the coexistence of socioeconomic order based on openness and free market relations (i.e. a purely Western phenomenon), with a conservative socioreligious regime (Talavera 2002), that is a cultural form typical for a part of the old Europe. Thus, cultural and socio-psychological factors can play an important part both in holding on to the Westphalian model of sovereignty and increasing interest in becoming a member of supranational organizations.

Nevertheless, in spite of all differences, the common movement to the transformation of the former type of sovereignty into this or that way is evident practically in all countries and regions, cultures and civilizations. In this connection, it is necessary to show the third point connected with regional level of sovereignty transformation. A number of developing countries are themselves ready to unite into regional communities to assert their interests together and solve problems. For example, the regional organizations in Africa, South-East Asia and Asian-Pacific region, as well as in Latin America after the Iraq events accepted a new stricter policy concerning terrorism and the use of weapons of mass destruction. However, they prefer to solve these problems in their own way on their own territory and by means of independent peacemaking organizations which they also develop themselves.[21] But at the same time they start to search for the means to minimize the risk of a violent American invasion and also of the USA using the tactics ‘share and rule’ against the regional members (Bayles 2004: 75; on the issues of the global security in the Third World Countries see also Buzan 1991).

Peter Berger (1986, 2002) in his conception of the diversity of cultural globalizations in the world mentioned that the final result of the global influence of foreign culture on the native one greatly depends on the character of the latter, as well as on the response that the native culture is able to produce to the challenge coming from foreign (global) culture. He distinguishes four main types of variations of the relationship of these cultures: 1) the substitution of the native culture by the foreign one; 2) the co-existence of native and global cultures without their evident amalgamation; 3) the certain synthesis of the global and partially native cultures; 4) the denial of the global culture as a result of the reaction of the society's traditional part and pressing of the native culture guardians. However, probably, the number of such types of variations may be enlarged. I believe that with respect to the sovereignty prerogatives in a situation of the collision of the states with outer global influences (challenges) there may also be a whole range of types of variants connected with the character of outer influences and peculiarities of the economical and political state of the countries (society, elite). However, at the same time one should take into account that the character of the response to the transformation of sovereign rights as compared with the influence on the cultures on the whole is much more controllable on the part of the states (society), as well as the national political forces and elites. Besides, since the balance of political forces inside the state, as well as the position itself of a particular state in the world rating can essentially change[22] one and the same state can make sharp turnings concerning the tractability or non-tractability with respect to the concession of sovereign rights.

In the connection with the above mentioned I suggest the following typology of sovereignty transformation:

Western types:

· the European type of the supranational community (with a number of subtypes);

· the type of the superpower (the American one);

· new countries type. Typical of the young or somehow aggrieved states in Europe, which require an international support/recognition (e.g., some countries of former Yugoslavia, Baltic states or some other countries of Soviet Union and former socialist countries). The complete readiness to turn under the patronage of the more powerful supranational formation (voluntary taking its rules).

Some non-Western types:

· type of former superpower (Russia), that retains the ambition to play the role of the second (third) superpower with reducing potentialities for this purpose and at the same time rapidly giving away many sovereign prerogatives;

· fluctuating type (e.g., authoritarian countries of the former Soviet Union, which fluctuate between Russia and influence of other strengths (USA, China, Muslim world etc.)

· regional leaders type. Striving for playing the role of regional leaders as India, Pakistan, Iran etc. (the tractability in one direction and non-tractability in the other);

· controllable globalization (by Yunxiang Yan, 2002). The necessity to maintain the entrance into economic globalization for the sake of economic benefits, but the aspiration to minimize in every way the external influence (China);

· civilized/regional type. Striving for geographical, cultural or ideological regionality. Readiness to sacrifice sovereign rights but only within the frames of the particular regions, unions, but not under pressure of the USA or Western countries (Latin America, some African countries etc.);

· closed type. The aspiration for closure, and therefore, for saving the whole set of sovereignty prerogatives for the sake of maintaining a certain ideology and/or a regime (Cuba, North Korea, some Islamic countries). Such regimes yield only under strong pressure of circumstances or powerful states.

6. The Crisis, Sovereignty Transformation and Forecasting Political Change in the World System

Sovereignty transformation within the new world order creation is not a unidirectional and unilinear process. Firstly, let me repeat once again, the national state will for a long time remain the leading player in the world arena, as in the foreseeable future only the state will be capable of solving a number of questions. Secondly, sovereignty may even increase in some aspects, as the current world crisis shows once more that the fate of national economies to a great extent depends on the strength of the states and on the abilities of their leaderships. Even those who were previously ready to bury the state claim today that governments should take the most active and expensive measures to save economics, financial system etc. Thus, it is quite probable that the nearest future may reveal a certain ‘renaissance’ of the state role and activity in the world arena. In some countries sovereign powers that had previously been (sometimes thoughtlessly) given away to supranational organizations, unions, and global capital may be returned. In the long-term trends such ebbs and fluctuations are not only possible but inevitable. Thus, the seemingly steady movement towards democracy in the first half of the 20th century suddenly made a swerve towards totalitarianism; the development of free market trade in the late 19th century was turned to protectionism. Thus, a return to etatism can be both rather lengthy and rather useful.

Nevertheless, it should be mentioned that such a return to the increasing role of state cannot be performed on the former bases, when the benefits of a state (even within the fulfillment of undertaken obligations and the observation of common international norms) were accepted in international relations as the highest cause of its activity on the world arena. We suppose that the return of the state role cannot be successful without a substantial change in the state foreign policy ideology (see Grinin 2009b, 2009e). In other words, we can suggest that purely egoistic interests of states will to a much lesser extent underlie the foreign policy concept and performance.

During the struggle for a place in organizing and operating the new world order, an epoch of new coalitions will come, which will outline the contours of a new political landscape for a considerably long period (see Grinin 2010, 2011b, 2012; Grinin and Korotayev 2010b, 2011). Probably, for some time the mobility of partnerships within the World System will increase, the arising coalitions may turn out to be chimerical, ephemeral, or fantastic. In the course of searching for the most stable, advantageous, and adequate organizational supranational forms various (even rapidly changing) intermediary forms may occur, where the players of the world and regional political arenas will search for most advantageous and convenient blocks and agreements. However, some of new unions and associations may turn from temporary into constant ones and take specific supranational forms. Thus eventually a new world order will be established. These will be such changes that could prepare the world to the transition to a new phase of globalization (it will be a great success if this is the phase of sustainable globalization) whose contours are not clear yet.

Fig. 2. Global crisis and global political transformations

Though globalization has not started today, in general, it is a new, unknown, most complicated and in many ways unpredictable process, which will create new problems in all spheres of life and require their solutions. One of the most important problems for a long time will be that of combining national and supranational, group and world interests. After all, only an institutionalized solution of this huge problem will finally establish a more or less stable world order. Naturally it will take some time when there must occur a profound turn in the elites' and peoples' outlook, and thus, the national problems will start to be considered primarily through the prism of common interests and only after that – in the context of common (regional and world) tasks and problems.


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[1] For an almost exhaustive survey of such works prior to 2001 see ICISS 2001.

[2] The latter refers to some former colonies unable to provide normal living condition and social order, that is weak, marginal states or quasi-states, which failed to fully complete the state-building process (Jackson 1990). Today such countries are usually called fragile (or failed) states.

[3] Thomson fairly believes that a more precise definition or a reconsideration of the definition of sovereignty is absolutely necessary (Thomson 1995). Such statements with respect to sovereignty including the most radical ones have been already made for a long time. For instance, Jack Maritain as early as in the 1950s proved that political philosophy must eliminate sovereignty both as a term and as a concept because of its supposedly inherent falsity, which misleads some researchers (Maritain 1950: 343). At present the reasoning for reconsidering the sovereignty concept has been intensified; different versions of such a term-transformation are suggested. However, researchers still fail to find a consensus.

[4] Of course, the causes of military and other intervention in different countries and its legacy has always been a significant research issue (see, e.g., Eley 1972; Vincent 1974; Tillema and Wingen 1982; MacFarlane 1983–1984). However, in the 1990s the number of similar works sharply increased. This can be proved, for example, by the fact that in the mentioned reference (ICISS 2001) the matter of sovereignty is combined with the theme of the direct intervention (non-intervention) in the domestic affairs of sovereign countries; and more than a half of about 160 items of this bibliography are dedicated just to this theme; at the same time an absolute majority of the works refer to the 1990s.

[5] To control the process of globalization – and such appeals, as well as complaints of its chaotic and unjust character are quite noticeable (see, e.g., Martin and Shuman 2001; Stiglitz 2003; Byazrova 2004; Callinicos 2005; Chomsky 2002; Lyu 2005; see also Dinello 2003; Galkin 2005) – one should in the first place control the directions and rates of economic and technical development; that seems a utopian, and not a pragmatic, belief nowadays. However, certain obstacles on the path of this progress in the form of different regulations and quotas will probably appear in the future (for more details see Grinin 2005, also 1999a).

[6] With respect to possible future scenarios, it is necessary to say that some of these predictions are quite straightforward and present a simplified extrapolation of past processes. In my opinion, the future processes will most likely reveal some circumstances which are impossible to foresee from the position of today's experience. On the other hand, some analogies still can exist. For example, in a certain sense the analogy is quite appropriate with the rise of the centralized states in the Middle Ages and at present. And those processes usually passed with much difficulty and at the same time were essentially different in various regions and periods. Naturally, the integration at the regional and, moreover, global scale does not bear any analogy to the process of empire formation; however, it is evident that there will be more than enough compulsions and violations, breaking of stereotypes and also the morbid humiliation of national pride (for more details see Grinin 1999a, 2005, 2007b, 2009e). Speaking about future tendencies one should take into account that to my mind the assumptions about the tendency to form ‘the new world government body’ (Neklessa 2002; see also Abylgaziev and Ilyin 2011) sound rather doubtful. Properly speaking, the ideas of world government emerged long ago and were popular after World War II, but they still remain unrealizable (see the analysis of the problem in question: Bull 2003: 579–580; Beck 2001; Salmin 1993). We also find rather doubtful – especially with respect to the current problems encountered by some EU members – the assertions that the European Union must fairly and inevitably transform into a centralized formation like the United States of Europe (Lukyanov 2005).

[7] Including the cultural level. One can agree that nowadays ‘the chief “globalizers” are the Americans’ (Berger 2002).

[8] Even Zbignev Brzezinski was in some doubt concerning the efficiency of the USA's modern policy and appeals to a deeper comprehension or reformulating foreign policy goals and American ideology more precisely, believing that it must determine its security in such categories, which will be able to suit others' interests (see Brzezinski 2004).

[9] A definite vector in the direction of globalization is present even with respect to such seeming strictly national organizations as parliaments. For example, now the number of international interparliamentary organizations is more than several dozen (see, e.g., Saidov 2004).

[10] Indeed it is rather an ambiguous conclusion, as in some cases, for example, as regards to many African countries, the gap may increase (see Leftwich 2005: 153), and at the same time in the Second and Third World countries one can see a much higher than average annual economic growth. This refers in particular to some Asian and Latin American countries, and recently many African countries as well as those of the Eastern Europe and the CIS (yet today they undergo a heavy crisis) (see, e.g., Maddison 2001, 2007, 2010; World Bank 2005; Shishkhov 2004: 18; Korotayev et al. 2011). For the analysis of globalization balance see also Bhagwati 2004.

[11] See, e.g., the special issue of International Studies Review journal, 2000, Vol. 2, No. 2, on the subject: ‘Continuity and Change in the Westphalian Order’, where this problem was discussed, especially in the following articles: Burch 2000; Blaney and Inayatullah 2000; Caporaso 2000; Litfin 2000; Mattli 2000.

[12] Probably, the difficulties in the interpretation of changes in world and national policy are also connected with the debate concerning the question whether sovereignty reduces or not which takes place within the context of old traditions of theories of international relations and old arguments of different schools. At the same time in some scholars' communities there is an obvious tendency to consider sovereignty at the level of a theoretically pure phenomenon, which however for some reason must meet reality. Nevertheless, quite obviously those real relations were often far from armchair scientists' ideas. No wonder, for any arguments of the supporters of the idea of reducing sovereignty their opponents produce proof that this situation is not new in history (see the analysis of various approaches to the comprehension of the sovereignty phenomenon: Thomson 1995).

[13] Of course, it combines with a rather tough imposition on the countries-disturbers of international rules and agreements, and also with the attempts of a direct interference in those countries' affairs (like, e.g., some republics of former Yugoslavia, Israel, Palestine, Libya, a numbers of African and Latin American countries) that turned out to be incapable of solving inner conflicts or restraining political forces beyond control (see, e.g., MacFarlane 1983–1984; Mayall 1991; Roberts 1991: 519–520; Helman and Ratner 1992–1993; Rosas 1994; Tesón 1996; Acevedo and Grossman 1996; Diamond 1996; Regan 1996; about interventions in the period of Arab Spring see Grinin, Korotayev 2012). Naturally, such actions of the International Community or separate countries and coalitions (the USA, NATO) also have a great effect on changing of sovereignty and establishing precedents for the future.

[14] For instance, Jack Levy in his article clearly brings out that though during the last five centuries the wars between the Great Powers diminished in number per time unit, but on the other hand, they constantly increased in scale, heaviness, intensity, concentration and to some extent also significance (Levy 1982).

[15] At the same time it is important to mention the fact that during the first post-war decades simultaneously with the increasing reduction of sovereignty the opposite processes took place, and as a consequence, modern national state became the leading type of government on the whole planet (see, e.g., Held et al. 1999: 46), and the number of national states swiftly increased (in 1945 there were 51 UN members, and by 1994 the number grew to 185 [The United Nations Organization 1995: 289–291; Webber 1997: 24; Inoguchi 1999: 175]). But there is no contradiction here. It is just the way the complicated processes proceed until the point when either these or those forms achieve their peak or their decay already reveals itself. For example, in Europe one can observe the privileges of the nobility and the most mature organizational forms of this estate at the very period of the early bourgeoisie regime formation, that is, at the moment when the ‘grave digger’ for the nobility (bourgeoisie) was actively developing. In this connection it is indicative that in the second half of the 20th century the sovereignty principles were especially actively accepted not in the developed countries (in particular in the former metropolitan countries) but vice versa at the periphery of the Western World, in the colonies getting their independence and young developing states (for more details see: Spruyt 2000; about different historical tendencies influencing sovereignty see, e.g., Inoguchi 1999).

[16] This is especially true with respect to China that rapidly advances in its economy's openness in the foreign trade sphere, so it constantly assumes new obligations reducing its sovereign rights concerning the prohibitions in economic sphere, duty rates etc.

[17] Indeed, this requires the United Nations` high prestige; however, this prestige is unfortunately rather low (see, e.g., a fascinating research about the correlation of the influence of different countries in the UNO and the contentment of their position in this organization in O'Neill 1996). Besides, to achieve their own goals the USA and NATO sometimes use the UNO resolutions in order to go far beyond them. The intervention in Libya in 2011 is a striking example (as well as similar efforts against Syria).

[18] Concerning the problems, strategies, successful and failed actions of the international court and mediation see, for example, Fischer 1982; Kleiboer 1996.

[19] About the development of the views on the nature of nations and nationalism see also: Llobera 1994; Diamond and Plattner 1994; Periwal 1995; Woolf 1996; Özkirimli 2000.

[20] Of course, China and India need to be regarded not only as regional states but as states, which aim at transforming into superpowers (see, e.g., National Intelligence Council 2008; Grinin 2011a). China demonstrates very active trade politic in Africa, South America and other regions.

[21] A recent example: the threat of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) to start intervention to Côte d’Ivoire in case the President Laurent Gbagbo does not accept the results of the elections held in the country in December 2010. The later example is Saudi Arabia's troops incursion in Bahrain, as both these states are members of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf.

[22] It depends, for instance, on the forces which are at the helm of a state; the prevailing spirit in a society; the economic progress and failures of a society.