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  • Sovereignty under Siege? Globalization and New Zealand
  • Roderic Alley
Sovereignty under Siege? Globalization and New Zealand, edited by Robert Patman and Chris Rudd. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2005. ISBN 0-7546-3064-1; ix + 247 pages, table, figures, notes, bibliographies, index. Cloth, US$99.95.

In their introduction, and following an identification of the properties of globalization, this collection's editors treat the phenomenon as terrain where some view the erosion and shrinkage of state sovereignty as irrevocable; where others are convinced that the "Westphalian temple" (the international system of sovereign states) is largely intact; and where a smaller, though important contingent look to globalization as a transformational process shaped by the perceptions, interpretations, and responses of its diverse actors. However, the editors claim, facing all is a key question about the actual nature of the sovereignty and globalization relationship. The challenge is pertinent given that New Zealand, as focus for this collection, joins other small, well-developed, and sovereign-sensitive states such as Singapore, Switzerland, and Finland for inclusion among the ten most globalized of states, societies, and economies.

Part One, "Political and Economic [End Page 447] Engagement," comprises four chapters assessing globalization as a shift from Keynes to neoliberalism (Roper); New Zealand and the world economy (Richardson); globalization, sovereignty, human rights, and New Zealand (Roth); and globalization and Parliament (Wood). Read as a set, these papers offer ample background about New Zealand's 1980s "big bang" into privatization, deregulation, and liberalization of an economy formerly so shackled as to see late Prime Minister David Lange once term it a "Polish shipyard." However, more was needed here about the impacts of capital mobility, exchange rate movements, and financial market integration on the New Zealand economy. Deserving debate was a point raised by the editors in their conclusion, suggesting that New Zealand has responded to globalization as yetanother international constraint requiring navigation. Largely unaddressed is the debate over public goods versus rational self-interest thatglobalization has stoked in New Zealand, seen, for example, in serious divisions regarding the Kyoto Protocol's local implementation requirements.

Part Two, "National Identity," comprises four chapters dealing with Päkehä identity (Spoonley); the implications of globalization for indigenous communities (Henare); migration and New Zealand (Bedford); and republicanism and the Treaty of Waitangi (Hayward). Spoonley sees transnational and global forces moving New Zealand's predominant cultural Päkehä identity beyond its previously negative, unsettled non-Mäori status into something more confident as an asserted participation in cultural partnerships. In his contribution, Henare identifies values traditionally viewed by Mäori as complementary, sustainable, holistic, and constituting what he terms a "matrix of ethical pluralism" (121). Yet his listing's omission of entrepreneurship is puzzling, particularly given the agility with which Mäori have exploited globalization's opportunities. Unmentioned is the remarkable record of the South Island's Ngai Tahu tribe, led by that local scion of tribal capitalism, Sir Tipene O'Regan, and delivering substantial material returns through transnational corporate activities in fishing, venture tourism, and land development.

Bedford's thorough, well-documented paper on migration into New Zealand traces significant moves, begun under a points system designed in the 1980s, to attract high-quality human capital capable of contributing to wealth and job creation within what is now one of the most open economies in the world. Although a now more diverse multicultural society, the county's unsettled debate about immigration remains subject toelectoral politicization. Hayward questions New Zealand's discontinuance of legal appeals to the United Kingdom Privy Council on grounds that this has weakened traditional Mäori linkages to the Crown. She further believes that republicanism in New Zealand, a steadily growing sentiment, will not strengthen national identity once the implications of removing former colonial links are considered, but without indicating thenature of such implications.

The final section, "Security and [End Page 448] Foreign Policy Directions," includes three papers on New Zealand's regional orientation (Macdonald); multilateralism (Jackson); and New Zealand's relations with the United States (McCormick). Macdonald's survey will assist the uninformed, but needs corrections (the Southeast-Asia Treaty Organization was formed in 1954; the South Pacific Nuclear Weapons Free Zone has been ratified by the nuclear...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-9464
Print ISSN
1043-898X
Pages
pp. 447-449
Launched on MUSE
2006-07-27
Open Access
No
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