State Sovereignty essay



Thesovereignty of the modern states has been undermined by differentprocesses and the establishment of the international organizations.The term sovereignty is defined as the status in which the state’sterritory is not under executive, governmental, judicial, orlegislative administration of another state or a public internationallaw (Villaroman, 2009). Globalization has limited the states’sovereignty by increasing interdependence among states, which hasreduced the capacity of individual countries to make their ownchoices without regarding the concerns of other states.

Theproliferation of small arms and reduction limit sovereignty byreducing the ability of individual states to exercise theirconstitutional mandate of protecting their citizens. This creates theneed to rely on other states for support (Ogu, 2010). Theestablishment of the multinational organizations undermines thesovereignty of individual states by changing the structure ofdecision making processes. Currently, most of the decisions are madethrough concession, where the states meet and agree under theumbrella of different international organizations (such as IMF, UN,ICC, EU, and the World Bank) organizations (Villaroman, 2009).Decisions made by these organizations affect all states, whichundermine the autonomy of individual states to make their ownchoices.

Howinternational globalizations affects sovereignty

Globalizationhas undermined the sovereignty that the states have been enjoying bychanging the role that the states play in the political arena. Thisis because globalization has increased the strength of the interstaterelationships as well as the dependence that the states have on eachother. This has been achieved by each state giving part of its powerand political control in order to pool with other states (Buchanan,2012). The process of pooling has been achieved through coercion,contracting, conventions, and imposition. For example, although thewestern countries (such as Britain) have achieved economic progressover the years, they are structurally dependent on the U.S. in termsof finance and military (Buchanan, 2012).

Similarly,the interdependence that has been created by globalization hascreated a scenario in which duties and rights are recognized by theinternational law, instead of individual states. For example, theInternational Criminal Court (ICC) presided over the Kenyan casesthat involved six senior politicians and government leaders, who wereaccused of heinous crimes, such as murder and rape cases thatoccurred in 2007-2008 (Plessis &amp O’Reilly, 2013). AlthoughKenya has an established judicial system, the international communityhad to override the state’s sovereignty. This confirms thatindividual states no longer retain the power to influence the humanright practices.

HowIMF affects sovereignty

TheIMF has grown to an extent that it can influence the economicdecisions made by individual states. This international body limitsthe capacity of individual states to determine the fate of theirrespective economies by imposing conditions on grants and loans thatthey give to different states. The case of the Paris Club is one ofthe recent examples of how countries lose their sovereignty in thehands of the IMF. During a meeting with the Paris Club, the IMFstated that countries under the umbrella of the club could only getdebt relief if they agreed to comply with the conditions set by theIMF (Villaroman, 2009). However, the IMF only undermines thesovereignty of poor countries that depend on debt to sustain theireconomies.

Conclusion,different states claim to be sovereign, but the reality is that theirability to make independent choices has been undermined by theprocess of globalization, the proliferation of arms, and theestablishment of the international organizations. Globalizationcreates a strong interdependence among the states to an extent thatindividual nations cannot make their own choices. Proliferation ofarms limits the capacity of individual states to carry out theirconstitutional functions. International organizations (such as theIMF) impose conditions to states, which limit the extent to whichcountries can exercise their sovereignty.


Buchanan,S. (2012). Hasglobalization altered the role of the state?Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh.

Plessis,M. &amp O’Reilly, A. (2013). Africaand the International Criminal Court.London: Chatham House.

Ogu,I. (2010). Proliferationof arms and light weapons in Africa: Causes or effect?Ilishan Remo: Babcock University.

Villaroman,G. (2009). The loss of sovereignty: How international debt reliefmechanisms undermine economic self-determination. Journalof Publics and Law,2 (4), 3-16.