"Today the idea of the sovereign nation state is no longer relevant." How persuasive is this claim?
Today we live in a world of growing internationalism and globalisation. Economies are merging, and supranational bodies such as the United Nations and European Union effect the lives of almost all people on earth. While some applaud these relatively new developments, claiming these pave the route to a peaceful and the only viable method of political rule, others are angered by what they see as a loss of national independence and sovereignty.
Internal sovereignty refers to the internal affairs of the state and the location of supreme power within it. An internal sovereign is therefore a body which possesses ultimate, final and independent authority; one whose decisions are binding upon all citizens, groups and institutions in society. Early notions of sovereignty expected that the sovereign should be an individual, thus vesting final authority in an indivisible, single voice.
Louis the XIV of France was to claim he was the state, and monarchs were known as sovereigns. However, sovereignty has also been located in legislative bodies, and some thinkers believed that it was vested in the people themselves expressed in the idea of 'general will' - the basis for modern democratic theory.
All thinkers, however, believed that sovereignty should be located in a determinant body. Whoever or whatever this body is, it is agreed upon that this body should be the ultimate authority. This traditional doctrine of sovereignty has come under fire in today's age; from those who point to its absolutist past, to those who claim it is no longer applicable to modern governments which operate according to a set of checks and balances. Locating the actual sovereign body in modern government is difficult - the United States is governed ultimately by its...