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National Sovereignty in an Interdependent World

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  • Kyle Bagwell
  • Robert W. Staiger

Abstract

What are the sovereign rights of nations in an interdependent world, and to what extent do these rights stand in the way of achieving important international objectives? These two questions rest at the heart of contemporary debate over the role and design of international institutions as well as growing tension between globalization and the preservation of national sovereignty. In this paper, we propose answers to these two questions. We do so by first developing formal definitions of national sovereignty that capture features of sovereignty emphasized in the political science literature. We then utilize these definitions to describe the degree and nature of national sovereignty possessed by governments in a benchmark (Nash) world in which there exist no international agreements of any kind. And with national sovereignty characterized in this benchmark world, we then evaluate the extent to which national sovereignty is compromised by international agreements with specific design features. In this way, we delineate the degree of tension between national sovereignty and international objectives and describe how that tension can be minimized and in principle at times even eliminated through careful institutional design.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10249.

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Date of creation: Jan 2004
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10249

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  1. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 1999. "Domestic Policies, National Sovereignty and International Economic Institutions," NBER Working Papers 7293, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Alberto Alesina & Ignazio Angeloni & Federico Etro, 2003. "International Unions," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2001, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  3. Robert W. Staiger & Kyle Bagwell, 1999. "An Economic Theory of GATT," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 215-248, March.
  4. Alberto Alesina & Enrico Spolaore, 1995. "On the Number and Size of Nations," NBER Working Papers 5050, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 2001. "The WTO as a Mechanism for Securing Market Access Property Rights: Implications for Global Labor and Environmental Issues," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 15(3), pages 69-88, Summer.
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Cited by:
  1. Fritz Breuss, 2004. "WTO Dispute Settlement: An Economic Analysis of four EU-US Mini Trade Wars," WIFO Working Papers, WIFO 231, WIFO.

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