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The Sovereignty Wars STEWART PATRICK Reconciling America with the World y Protecting Sovereignty While Advancing American Interests in the Global Age Americans have long been protective of their country ’s sovereignty—all the way back to George Washington, who admonished his successors to avoid “permanent” alliances with foreign powers. Throughout its history, the United States has faced periodic, often heated, debates about how to maintain that sovereignty, and whether it is endangered when the nation enters into international treaties and alliances about which Washington warned. As the 2016 election made clear, sovereignty is also one of the most frequently invoked, polemical, and misunderstood concepts in politics—particularly American politics.The concept wields symbolic power, implying something sacred and inalienable: the right of the people to control their fate without subordination to outside authorities. Given its emotional pull, however, the concept is easily hijacked by political opportunists. By playing the sovereignty card, they can curtail more reasoned debates over the merits of proposed international commitments by portraying supporters of global treaties or organizations as enemies of motherhood and apple pie. Such arguments distract Americans from what is really at stake in the sovereignty debate: namely, the ability of the United States to shape its destiny in a global age. The United States cannot successfully manage globalization, much less insulate itself from transnational threats, on its own. As global integration deepens and cross-border challenges grow, the nation’s fate is increasingly tied to that of other countries , whose cooperation will be needed to exploit the shared opportunities and mitigate the common risks of interdependence. (continued on back flap) (continued from front flap) The Sovereignty Wars is intended to help today’s policymakers think more clearly about what is actually at stake in the sovereignty debate and to provide criteria for determining when it is appropriate to negotiate and how to achieve bargains over sovereignty. Stewart Patrick is James H. Binger Senior Fellow in Global Governance and director of the International Institutions and Global Governance Program at the Council on Foreign Relations. Jacket design by Zoe Norvell Jacket photograph by Robert Smith/Alamy Stock T “Stewart P The stake the world. “With luci threats to other dem nationalis “In this int the deep, t policy deb sovereignt terms for “Stewart P dled argum and shows ...


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