Front Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-vi

Table of Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xii

I’ve incurred many intellectual, professional, and personal debts in writing this book, and I offer my sincere thanks to those who inspired me to write it and helped me bring it to fruition.

The topic of sovereignty has fascinated me since my first undergraduate class in world politics at Stanford University—taught by Stephen D. Krasner, who would later write the definitive theoretical work on the concept. That early exposure came in handy two decades later when I became a fellow on the State Department’s policy planning staff. Its director, Richard  N. Haass,...

Abbreviations

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pp. xiii-xvi

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Introduction: The Sovereignty Wars

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pp. 1-27

On the eve of March 19, 1919, 3,000 lucky ticket holders gathered in Boston’s Symphony Hall for one of the most eagerly anticipated debates in American history. The question posed was whether the United States should approve the Covenant of the League of Nations and become one of its founding members. Arguing in the affirmative was A. Lawrence Lowell, president of Harvard University. In the negative was Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts, the Senate majority leader.

Interest in the debate was intense, both in the United States and abroad. And rightfully so. A month earlier President...

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There's No Place Like Home: Sovereignty, American Style

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pp. 28-58

The United States has been at war overseas for most of this young century. Meanwhile another conflict, not bloody but shrill, has been brewing at home. It is the political struggle over American sovereignty in an age of interdependence. As global integration accelerates, swells, and deepens, the security, prosperity, and ecological health of each nation is ever more tightly intertwined with the well-being of others. Managing transnational threats and risks, as well as seizing opportunities created by globalization, requires unprecedented international cooperation. But that practical reality collides headlong with...

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Power and Interdependence: U.S. Sovereignty in the American Century

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pp. 59-96

The previous chapter stressed the enduring influence of America’s political principles, national identity, and domestic institutions on how the United States defines, expresses, and defends its sovereignty. That is, American conceptions about sovereignty are rooted in a conviction that the will of the people is the foundation for political legitimacy, in a broadly shared belief that the United States is an exceptional nation, and in the distribution of domestic power and authority established by the U.S. Constitution. Given these ideological, identity, and institutional realities, U.S. attitudes toward sovereignty can seem...

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Do as I Say, Not as I Do: American Sovereignty and International Law

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pp. 97-141

Antonin Scalia was beside himself. The  U.S. Supreme Court had just ruled 5–4 in Roper v. Simmons (2005) that it was unconstitutional to impose the death penalty on individuals who had committed capital crimes as minors. But what most offended the associate justice was the majority’s invocation of international opinion to justify its decision. What possible relevance could the findings of foreign courts and jurists have for Supreme Court deliberations?, Scalia inquired. “I thought it was the Constitution of the United States that we were discussing.”1...

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Don't Fence Me In: The Use of Force, Arms Control, and U.S. National Security

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pp. 142-171

Senator John Kerry (D.-Mass.) stood stiffly, but his condemnation of President George W. Bush was forthright. It was not simply that the Iraq invasion had been based on a false premise—that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. It was that Bush had rushed to war without securing international support. Yes, there were times when a “preemptive strike” might be warranted, Kerry told Jim Lehrer, who was moderating the first presidential debate in Coral Gables, Florida, on September 30, 2004. “But if and when you do it, Jim, you have to do it in a way that passes the test, that passes the...

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Stop the World, I Want to Get Off: Globalization and American Sovereignty

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pp. 172-195

Senator Elizabeth Warren was in high dudgeon. The target of her animus was a February 2015 draft agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a proposed bloc of twelve trading nations, including the United States. Its most objectionable provision was the envisioned Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism. This mechanism would allow companies that believed they had gotten a raw deal from TPP governments to bring their complaints to an independent tribunal composed (in Warren’s view) of wellpaid corporate lawyers. “Agreeing to ISDS in this enormous new treaty would tilt the playing field in the United States further in favor of big multinational...

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Good Fences Make Good Neighbors: Immigration and Border Security

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pp. 196-216

On June 16, 2015, Donald Trump convened his supporters and the media in the lobby of his eponymous tower in midtown Manhattan. His ostensible purpose was to declare that he would seek the presidency of the United States. But what made headlines was not that long-anticipated announcement but rather his vow to crack down on illegal immigration. As the mogul explained, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best....They’re sending people that have lots of problems....They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” Trump had spoken to...

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Don't Tread on Me: The United States and International Organizations

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pp. 217-251

Boris Johnson, the mop-haired former mayor of London, was incredulous. It was mid-April 2016. President Barack Obama had just inserted himself into the most momentous political decision to confront the United Kingdom in decades: whether to leave the European Union. Johnson, a leader of the “Leave” campaign, found it “absolutely bizarre” to be “lectured by the Americans about giving up our sovereignty,” and he scoffed at Obama’s plan to deliver his plea in person just two months before Britain held its pivotal referendum. “I don’t know what he’s going to say,” Johnson told the BBC, “but if that is the American argument then it is nakedly hypocritical.” After all, “the Americans...

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Conclusion: American Sovereignty and International Cooperation

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pp. 252-264

A century after Lodge and Lowell squared off in Boston over the United States’ membership in the League of Nations, the country faces the same enduring dilemma: How can it reconcile its defense of national sovereignty with the imperative of international cooperation? This predicament has only grown since 1919, as the problems of an increasingly interdependent globe collide with an America that often seeks to chart its own course, unencumbered by the outside world.

The ascent of Donald J. Trump to the White House brought these long-simmering U.S. sovereignty concerns to a boil. During the president’s...

Notes

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pp. 265-312

Index

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pp. 313-336

Back Cover

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