States, Non-States, and Supra-States: Who's Soverign Now?


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The 10th Anniversary Edition of the Bologna Center Journal of International Affairs is dedicated to the memory of Professor Patrick McCarthy, who taught for many years at the Bologna Center and at the SAIS campus in Washington, DC.

The Bologna Center Journal of International Affairs would like to acknowledge and thank those individuals who have provided support over the past year, including faculty advisor Professor Erik Jones, Joseph Whalen, Professor Marco Cesa, Director Kenneth Keller, and everyone who contributed to the annual fundraising auction.

2007 Journal Staff


Sarah Underwood*

Managing Editor

Johs Pierce*

Executive Editor

Jill Craig*

Copy Editor

Frank Fusco

Finance Director

Philip Bartels

Public Relations

Elizabeth Kountze

Layout Editor

Suzanne J.K. Platt

Web Editor

Lisette Planken

Cover Artist

Thomas Kang
Event Planners Hannah Kaplan
Megan Meyer
Patricia Shea


Rachel Bahn | Ed Butterfield* | Alan Cameron | Maithili Chakravarthy | Catherine Dalton | Siobhan Devine | Rachel Dunsmoor | Rossa Fitzgerald | Laura Freschi | Justin Grosnick | Michael K. Gujda* | Michael Heydt | Thomas Höhne-Sparborth | Faysal Itani | Hannah Kaplan | Alistair Mackie | Deena Magnall | Megan Meyer | François-Xavier Mirza | Dan Moger | Sarah Naimark | Kelly O’Malley | Andy Salazar | Amy Shatsoff | Patricia Shea | Maite de Sola* | Jonathan Taylor | Aaron Thompson | Matt Walsh | Joy Wiersum | Melanie Youell

Copy Editors

Rachel Bahn | Jonathan Beland | Alan Cameron | Siobhan Devine | Laura Freschi | Dan Moger | Sarah Naimark | Suzanne J.K. Platt | Amy Shatsoff | Elizabeth Isaman | Hannah Kaplan | Yumi Kim | Alistair Mackie | Anna Marzullo

Scholarship Selection Committee

Philip Bartels | Siobhan Devine | Gwendolyn Stamper | Maha Khan | Amy Shatsoff
* Article Selection Committee



The European Union (EU) continues to redefine sovereignty as it makes strides toward a unified foreign policy. However, its member states wield foreign affairs power guardedly, concentrating it in the EU institutions they control, such as the Council of Ministers, and keeping it from the ones they do not, such as the directly-elected European Parliament. Within these constraints, the European Parliament must influence EU external relations through creative means, including its public investigation into CIA activities in Europe, thus testing transatlantic relations and offering an international institution twist on the classic foreign policy battle of the legislature versus the executive.


The dissolution of the Soviet Union saw the outbreak of numerous ethno-political separatist conflicts, as well as intervention by a particular kind of outside actor that could be termed “fourth party” — local outsiders with preexisting linkages to a group rebelling against its parent state. Analysis of fourth-party intervention in Georgia and Moldova suggests the following: first, fourth-party ties to separatists that are political and based on mutual interests prompt more willing intervention than ethnic affinity; second, fourth parties make internal conflicts more complex by involving third parties; and third, more sustained fourth-party intervention (associated with political, interest-based ties) makes resolution more elusive.


Paradiplomacy refers to the foreign policy capacity of sub-state entities: their participation, independent of their metropolitan state, in the international arena in pursuit of their own specific international interests. It thus challenges a number of theories of the discipline of international relations, which do not normally consider sub-state entities as subjects of international relations, as well as states’ traditional claim to sovereignty. Drawing on three West European examples, this article argues, however, that the paradiplomacy phenomenon is consistent with both international relations theory and state sovereignty when viewed through the lens of conflict resolution and autonomy.


Peru and Colombia both faced severe internal conflicts between 1990 and 2002, in which guerilla groups challenged state sovereignty by contesting its monopoly of legitimate violence. Peru was able to defeat its insurgency during this time period through military and police actions, but Colombia was unable to resolve its conflict through either negotiations or military force. During this period, Colombia attempted to replace political violence with participatory democracy, while Peru’s democracy self-destructed and the country reverted to authoritarianism. These outcomes are surprising in light of prevailing political science literature, which argues that democratization is the key means to resolve internal political violence. This article tests the hypothesis that literature supporting the democratization peace theory was counter-productive in these two cases. It does so by examining whether democratic depth was inversely related to the resolution of internal conflict. The article concludes that democracy was not causally related to the resolution of internal conflict, but that this variance in outcomes can be explained by two variables outside the democratization peace paradigm: the nature of the guerilla groups and the socio-economic structure of the rural provinces in which the insurgencies were based.


By focusing on NAFTA as an intervening variable in the Mexican transition to democracy, this paper explores the interplay and the sequencing of economic liberalization and political opening that occurred in Mexico between 1988 and 2000. More precisely, its goal is to evaluate whether neo-liberalism in Mexico has steered a process of democratic transition or, conversely, if the consolidated features of the political system have remained practically unchanged despite the speed of the impressive market reforms that Mexico has experienced. As the analysis will highlight, the Salinas administration (1988-1994) adapted the ruling coalition and state-society relations to the imperatives of neo-liberalism, thus making the free-trade agreement politically viable. The result was political paralysis rather than a positive political opening. By contrast, economic liberalism under Zedillo (1994-2000) triggered an ongoing process of political liberalization, mainly by reducing the power of the presidency and by partially removing the past authoritarian legacies of Mexico. However, this paper argues that Mexico still falls short of a full-fledged democracy. The path toward democratization, although well on its way, remains uncertain and complex given the current reality of the country.


The ongoing reconstruction of sovereignty as an institution with functional and ontological significance indicates that it is both founded on the basis of and maintains an important role in shaping international norms. Through practice and rhetoric, state and non-state actors have developed a complex system of terminology that reflects the evolution of sovereignty and its normative framework. This article examines the contributions of state representatives, international institutions and international relations scholars to the re-conceptualization of the fundamental institution of the world order.


This paper examines the background and ideology of Hizbullah and, from that, attempts to determine whether or not Hizbullah is a Lebanese nationalist party. Special emphasis is placed on the “Lebanonization” path on which the group embarked in the 1990s and its comparison with the party’s core ideology. The paper then contextualizes the group in Lebanon’s current crisis and identifies the political implications of Hizbullah’s character on the group’s role in the crisis.


After more than a decade of privatization in Latin American countries, the specter of energy nationalization in the name of national sovereignty has risen in the region’s leftist, populist governments, notably Morales’s Bolivia and Chavez’s Venezuela. Brazil undertook an experiment in energy nationalization lasting five decades, from the formation of Petrobrás in 1938 until the enshrinement of its monopoly in the constitution of 1988; the company remains state-owned today, though recent reforms have changed the nature of the relationship. This paper investigates the successes and challenges of Brazil’s experience with energy nationalization and draws important lessons for any country contemplating a similar experiment.


This paper recounts several of the myths associated with sovereignty, describing the function of these myths and the ways in which global politics has come to reflect a fundamentally changed reality. States are simultaneously confronted by integrating and fragmenting processes that produce new authority patterns. This changed reality has decoupled territorial and psychological space and fostered a global competition for identities and loyalties among different polity types.


The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, I will show how the issue of sovereignty has been transformed by the self-determination principle. Second, I will look at how self-determination is both a reinforcing and weakening factor for state sovereignty. Eighteenth-century foundations of self-determination, in particular the social contract theory of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the American and French Revolutions, have transformed traditional state-based conceptions of sovereignty inherited from the Treaty of Westphalia. I will show how the dilemmas and contradictions identified at the time have received only partial and inconsistent answers in the present international system.


This article considers the possible limits to traditional notions of sovereignty within a post-war state-building process, based on the experience of post-Dayton Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). If time and a certain amount of breathing space are necessary for democratic institutions to be established, for parties to develop platforms and for civil society to take root, how can such a respite be provided so that the conditions necessary for successful transition exist? In post-war BiH, the answer has been through various forms of international administration, and the result has been a post-war period of semi-democracy. This article considers the case of BiH in light of the potential conflict between the notion of sovereignty and the goal of state-building in divided societies. While BiH is an interesting case, and some tentative lessons have been learned from it, the processes of post-war democratization and state-building are still ongoing.