Squaring the Circle? Reconciling Sovereignty and Global Governance Through Global Government Networks (Review of Anne-Marie Slaughter, a New World Order)
58 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2005
Anne-Marie Slaughter's widely noticed book, A New World Order (Princeton UP 2004), proposes that the emerging form of global governance is neither a world government nor global governance by partnerships of public international organizations and global civil society, yet neither is it the existing relationship of sovereign states. Slaughter's concern is to resolve the governance dilemma of global governance, which is in essence that while we collectively recognize the advantages of global government, we also fear its anti-democratic and unaccountable concentration of power. A form of global governance is emerging, she argues, which can resolve this dilemma in the form of global government networks - networks of national agencies (and courts) working with their counterparts and homologues worldwide to deal with a wide variety of global concerns. Fundamental to this conception of global government is Slaughter's view that the unitary state is becoming disaggregated into its constituent parts, which increasingly act on their own account in the wider global environment. This (lengthy) book review summarizes and critiques A New World Order, offering both an internal critique of the argument's consistency as well as an outside critique of the argument from the standpoint of the value of democratic sovereignty. The review locates Slaughter's argument within the debate over international relations realism and idealism, and further locates it within a continuum of seven idealized positions in the debate between global governance and sovereignty, with pure sovereignty at one extreme and world government at the other, with the most relevant positions of democratic sovereignty and liberal internationalism located in the middle. The article concludes that Slaughter's vision of global governance through global government networks, ingenious as it is, does not finally avoid spitting us on at least one horn of the global governance dilemma, because ultimately it privileges global networks over democratic sovereignty.
Keywords: International law, global governance, democracy, sovereignty, democratic sovereignty, European Union, administrative law, international organizations, global civil society, nongovernmental organizations, NGO, NGOs, liberal internationalism, Anne-Marie Slaughter, transjudicialism
JEL Classification: K23, K33, L30, L31, L33
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