confirm Stem's observation that "the sovereign principle is often as much cherished by those who have it . . . as by those who seek it. 3
Stern clearly appreciates that the nature of sovereignty, and even some of the premises of realism, have changed as the nature of power has shifted from exclusive reliance on political-military power resources to include a modern obsession with economic resources and market power. He does not quibble about degrees or levels--or even about definitions--but realistically recognizes that states have become interdependent, and that nonstate actors have become politically important. He does not accept, however, that either trend marks the end of sovereignty, or even transfer of sovereignty to international organizations.
[Many liberals and globalists may argue on the one hand that] the thickening web of international economic institutions, common markets, and specialized agencies further limits the ability of states to chart their own destinies. On the other hand, it can be contended that such organizations as the EU [ European Union], the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) may enhance the ability of states to exercise sovereign power by providing the instruments of collaboration by which participants may secure their individual objectives. . . . it is still governments that determine the shape of international politics. . . . whenever governments resort to economic sanctions in support of political objectives, they underline the pre-eminence of politics. 4
In expanding his conservative realism to embrace much of the change that he has observed in his long scholarly career, Stern implicitly (if also parenthetically) recognizes the salience of knowledge and skill in exercising power, and in expanding the study of international relations beyond pure politics to embrace at least economics.
What has to change, however, is the traditional emphasis on measurable military capability. . . . any realistic account of the capacity of states to outwit, outmaneuver or defeat their rivals nowadays has to be based on a range of diplomatic, economic, political, and other considerations, including the skill of leaders in being able to choose the appropriate pressure for the ends in view. . . . this has meant placing much greater emphasis than hitherto on the intricacies of the international political economy and on technological, demographic, and environmental factors. 5