Christian Volk: "The Problem of Sovereignty in Globalized Times" (article)
News from Apr 10, 2019
This article argues that the delineation of the current debate on sovereignty in times of globalization and the manner of questioning are problematic. Although various understandings of sovereignty differ in terms of content, they nevertheless reproduce the same conceptual structure: of a rigid binary separation into internal/external, national/global, a container theory of space, the need to search for the supreme, a (political, ethical, legal) skepticism and the idea of the uniformity of the sovereign entity (state, people, law). The continuity of this conceptual structure has contributed to the fact that not only our political, social and legal thinking and imaginaries have been shaped for centuries by the logic of sovereignty thinking, but also and above all our political practices. The article works out the manner in which this conceptual structure – and not just the content of the concept – is already theory-forming in terms of the structural composition of social and political realities, circumstances, problems and approaches, and its consequences cannot be reflected upon in a debate that postulates the concept of sovereignty. My criticism is that, in the process, important empirical insights about the driving forces of globalization and the economic materiality of global power relationships get lost and decisions are taken that are questionable in a normative sense, in terms of the authorization of actors on the one hand and the delegitimization and exclusion of actors on the other.