Changing the rules: a review of Redefining Sovereignty: The Battle for the Moral High Ground in a Changing World By Orrin C. Judd (Steven Martinovich, February 27, 2006, Enter Stage Right)
Liberals aren’t likely the only ones who will argue with the conclusions of many of the essays presented in Redefining Sovereignty. While most are hostile to transnationalism and the erosion of sovereignty, many argue American intervention in the internal affairs of other nations as justified. Judd himself argues that George W. Bush’s mission to reshape the Middle East in a democratic image isn’t at odds with the history of American foreign policy and is indeed necessary to preserve American security. It’s doubtless an argument that will have paleoconservatives and the libertarian wing of the Republican Party less than pleased, arguing as they did against interfering in the Balkans and Iraq because they were sovereign nations dealing with internal issues.
Not surprisingly it’s in between these two camps — the transnationalists and sovereignty absolutists — that Judd pitches his tent. Echoing Ayn Rand when she famously wrote that a state was only legitimate when it protected the rights of its citizens, Judd writes that “Americans have moved on to a paradigm that requires that a regime only be recognized as sovereign if it has democratic legitimacy.” Where previously the test consisted only of international recognition of sovereignty, the new test includes the nature of the state claiming the sovereignty.
Small wonder that new test has generated no small measure of controversy.
It’s at the printer–the new hardcover came last week and looks awfully good–and will be available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble & bookstores by the end of March.