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Forum LockedTheory of Sovereignty

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    Posted: 17-Feb-2008 at 22:57
In the initial theories put out by Ibn Khaldun,Jean Bodin, Thomas Hobbes and developed by John Locke and Jean Jacques Rousseau, state sovereignty was presented as absolute and indivisible.
 
However, as the earth proceeded into the later centuries, federal states and confederations(such as EU), and even certain international organizations limiting the sovereignty power has come.
 
The developers of the original theory of sovereignty held that the absolute and indivisible characteristics were indispensible elements of sovereignty because of the power it gives to the state in terms of governance.
 
Which way do you think is better in terms of governance? Federalism or confederalism limiting state sovereignty, or absolutism in sovereignty?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Feb-2008 at 16:52
If the state itself would bind the entire Earth, absolutism would be better since it would help change the different levels of progress. As it stands now, I believe that the creation of large confederacies essentially serves the same purpose since there are hopes of these confederacies binding to each other.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Maharbbal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Feb-2008 at 19:07
The problem of how the question is framed is that you ask us what we prefer instead of wondering what is best. Besides, it is not given that what works for a small country will for a big one and what works for a rich nation will for a poor one.

It seems to me that federalist countries have a slight hedge over the centralizing ones. The US, Switzerland, Germany are models to be followed on the economic and political level, and sometimes on the social one. Moreover the federalist system seems to be gathering momentum as countries such as Spain, Italy and the UK are gradually moving toward it.

Federalism seems more fit for democracy, the power is closer from the people and the state is potentially larger. But it comes at a price and some may wonder whereas it is worth it.

First of all, it is way more expensive (the political class present at one more level is thus bigger and more expensive).
Secondly, one may want to be as far away from the power as possible, in other words it is more likely that a smaller polity will try to micromanage your business than a big one.
Finally, federalism creates barriers in what could be otherwise a single chunk. I'm in the US now, if somebody can explain me why my New York driving license does not work in California, I'd be grateful.

So I'd say federalism, yes but be careful not to make it too federal for its own good.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Feb-2008 at 19:17
Exactly, the separate laws make for the worst of the federalist system. And if you unite a federation under a single set of laws common everywhere, it's no longer a federation.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Feb-2008 at 20:09
Originally posted by Maharbbal Maharbbal wrote:

...I'm in the US now, if somebody can explain me why my New York driving license does no. work in California, I'd be grateful.


 
What did you do rip it up? It's still good but if you drive like a New Yorker it be best for you to take some refresher drivers training!
 
Aside from individual states having the authority to issue drivers licenses, you could still use their roads. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zaitsev Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Feb-2008 at 20:23
I believe that neither of these systems in inherently better than the other. It depends strongly on the ability of the leadership and on the nature of the people being ruled.

For example, if the people are commonly dissenting, then a strong government could keep them in line, while a restricted one may not be able to adequately deal with the crisis.

Unrestricted governments can also act far more decisively. If a leader in an unrestricted government is capable, he/she can effect a lot of positive change. If his power is restricted, however, he/she can do less. This can be a positive thing, should an incapable leader be appointed.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Feb-2008 at 20:49
I suppose it would depend on which particular state you are talking about.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Feb-2008 at 13:18
 
Originally posted by Maharbbal Maharbbal wrote:

Moreover the federalist system seems to be gathering momentum as countries such as Spain, Italy and the UK are gradually moving toward it.
Don't know about Spain and Italy, but in recent times the UK has been becoming more and more centralised and less federal. Yes, Scotland and Wales now have semi autonomous 'parliaments' but that only undid the centralisation that took place in 1707 in Scotland and 1543 in Wales.
 
But other local authorities had their powers severely restricted in the latter half of the 20th century, notably by restricting their power to tax and control education, and by introducing regional authorities (for instance in the police) taking powers away from the traditional local authorities.

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