Globalization, Corporate Commerce, and the Regulation of Cross-Border Capital: Implications for American Indian Sovereignty
Posted: 27 Jan 2015 Last revised: 17 Feb 2016
Date Written: January 25, 2015
The relationship between law, sovereignty, and globalization has not been adequately explored or theorized. Given that global trade now exceeds $23 trillion annually, with more than two-thirds of that trade conducted by multinational corporations, the nation-states of the world are today becoming bound together in unprecedented ways, impacting the sovereignty of each. The sovereignty of American Indian peoples, due to their unique position in American law, is all the more implicated in these figures and their consequences. On its own, however, the tools of legal scholarship are poorly equipped to address the complex, cross-cultural phenomenon of sovereignty. Through the combined fields of law and anthropology, therefore, this article makes three novel interventions. First, it presents a comprehensive model of sovereignty that reflects current geopolitical realities and is applicable to every nation-state today. Second, it discusses the transformations in globalization and international commerce that have made possible, and continue to drive, contemporary sovereignty. And third, the article situates American Indians within this model through a detailed analysis of Supreme Court decisions over the past 40 years; importantly, this analysis – when mapped onto the presented model of sovereignty – reveals innovative avenues by which Indian sovereignty can be strengthened and expanded.
Keywords: Sovereignty, Globalization, American Indian Law, Global Value Chains
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