Federalism Values and Foreign Relations

By Greve, Michael S. | Chicago Journal of International Law, Fall 2001 | Go to article overview

Federalism Values and Foreign Relations


Greve, Michael S., Chicago Journal of International Law


In attacking the orthodox view of an exclusive, incontestable federal monopoly over foreign relations, Edward T. Swaine argues, revisionist scholars have so far failed to address the "ultimate challenge [of] locating new functions and values for the states in a globalized, yet federal, world."1 Both the criticism and the underlying intuition strike me as substantially correct. The revisionist attempt to rehabilitate federalism and the states presupposes that federalism serves some important value or values. In light of the momentous changes wrought by a global, interconnected world, those values cannot simply be assumed; they have to be identified and defended.

That said, Swaine's proposed search for "new functions and values" seems needlessly ambitious. The central dynamics of globalization-increased international mobility of capital and labor, international treaty arrangements that reach deep into formerly domestic affairs, the operation of domestic corporations on a global scale and, conversely, of foreign corporations in home state markets-do, of course, compel a re-thinking of domestic arrangements. Still, it seems likely that the "new" federalism values and functions will be extensions and modifications of the old ones. The real question is whether a globalized world renders familiar features of federalism more functional and valuable, or less so.

One set of traditional federalism values that might be thought to gain increased currency in a globalized world revolves around political participation. States have traditionally been viewed as being "closer to the people" than the national government. Now that the forces and institutions that shape our lives are even more distant, alien, and unresponsive, it has become all the more important to cultivate and protect local attachments, mores, policies, and voices.2 An enhanced role for the states in international affairs on issues that might affect their citizens could improve the recognition and representation of local values, interests, and concerns.

An alternative set of traditional federalism values center around the benefits of jurisdictional diversity and competition. Jurisdictional diversity makes it possible to accommodate a wider range of citizen-consumer preferences more of the time. Competition among governments, coupled with the option of an "exit" for dissatisfied citizens and businesses, disciplines interest group politics. On this view, federalism merits preservation (or restoration) against national and international arrangements alike, for substantially the same reasons. Federalism merits a firm defense especially now that international arrangements provide revenue-hungry governments and rentseeking interest groups with enhanced opportunities to trump the salutary, disciplining force of jurisdictional competition.

Space constraints mercifully preclude anything resembling the full development of these two lines of argument and their implications for constitutional law and doctrine. The remainder of this article sketches the basic intuitions and presumptions that might inform a future analysis.

I strongly suspect that the "local participation" story is ultimately implausible. As an initial matter, the successful cultivation of local attachments does not appear to correspond, in any systematic way, to constitutional federalism arrangements. (It seems to work better in centralized France than in some federalist countries.) Even if that assessment is mistaken, the notion that local politics and participation might compensate for global alienation and dislocations is open to serious question. On some issues, more leeway for state governments would arguably help to counter civic alienation. By way of prominent example, the citizens of Massachusetts might feel better about themselves and their role in the world if they were permitted to register their disapproval of the government of Burma and corporations that deal with the SLORC (State Law and Order Restoration Council, or whatever that country and its junta may now be called). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Federalism Values and Foreign Relations
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.