The delegation of sovereignty is also seen as a playing a major impact on the political power of so called sovereign states, this is happening at two levels, firstly through devolution as we have seen in the UK since 1999, where the national parliament has granted certain delegated powers to both Scotland, Wales and northern Ireland in the case of Scotland, the Scottish parliament has actual law making powers and can be said to be sovereign in domestic policy, however it is still represented on the international stage by Westminster which still makes foreign policy and defence policy for the entire UK.
Secondly there is multilateral cooperation, which has to distinguish between foreign and domestic, whereby economies become more integrated due to the spread of global markets. The cooperation within the EU highlights this change perfectly, never before has cooperation between nations been so great, there exists a single currency which all of the major European powers (other than the United Kingdom) have opted into, this is unquestionably a huge delegation of economic power, as member states have to operate within set economic targets and policies, for instance there is a uniform interest rate which all must stick to.
The proposed European constitution will further strengthen the European parliament which already has so called ‘sovereignty’ in certain policy areas, the common agriculture policy for instance which many resent and feel is a waste of money and yet however much we may dislike it we must adhere to it as long as we are members of the European Union, whilst theoretically we can pull out and therefore EU policy wouldn’t affect us, in effect such is the integration and the dependence of Trading with our European partners that economically it would be disastrous to pull out, however at present such close cooperation exists only in Europe.
Whilst there is no international government there is such thing as international law and it is expected that states if they which to remain sovereign must abide by such laws, for instance genocide and victimisation of certain groups is under international law illegal, the international community feels that it has the right to intervene in the internal affairs of states where it feels that such illegal action is been taken
As UN secretary Kofi Annan declared in September 1999, “States bent on criminal behaviour Know that frontiers are not an absolute defence that massive And systematic violations of human rights wherever they may take place Should not be allowed to stand’ such an instance where the international community felt that there was a violation of human rights occurred in 1999 in Serbia, president Milosevic was believed to be responsible for genocide of kosovans the result was that NATO took military action against the Serbian government and forced them to concede that what they were doing had been wrong.
States feel that they have the right to take pre emptive action against states that they feel are threatening global security, for instance if a state is known to have a violent past and are now knowingly pursing the development of WMDs then states may take action to prevent a threat becoming a reality, the war in iraq was founded on this basis as this is seen as a legal course of action. The development of global problems, such as global warming has lead to greater cooperation between states to tackle so called global problems, the kyto protocol despite the fact that the USA opted out is an example of this.
Whilst the nature sovereignty has undoubtley changed over the years, it is not to say that it no longer exists, international law exists and as long as states adhere to this then they will remain free from direct intervention from other states, the development of global market forces has meant that cooperation between states is necessary, as the integration of economies as well as the need to have friends on the international stage, sovereignty remains strongest in the so called super power nations, for instance America has shown It will act on its own and has withdrawn from certain international protocols which others have joined, it remains at the discretion of each nation as to what they are involved in, its just that most states feel cooperation is in there best interests.