The beginning of a reconstituting of sovereignty
Denationalized states and global assemblages
Saskia Sassen: -- There is a revolutionary clause in all the new constitutions framed in the 1990s - Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, South Africa, the central European countries, and some others. It has gotten very little attention, which surprises me. It says that the sovereign (the state, in the language of international law) even if democratically elected cannot presume to be the exclusive representative of its people in international fora.
What lies behind this is the claim making (back to my informal politics) by a variety of groups that do not want to be merged into some sort of collective identity represented by the state. We can think of first-nation peoples, minoritized citizens of all sorts, new types of feminisms that are transnational, political dissenters, and probably all kinds of other actors now in the making, as we speak.
This clause is revolutionary in that it goes beyond, indeed, contests, the major achievement of the French and American revolutions, which was to posit that the people are the sovereign and the sovereign is the people. The achievement of these earlier revolutions was to eliminate the distance between the people and a putatively divine sovereign (state).
This signals for me the beginning of a reconstituting of sovereignty.
With the notion of denationalization I try to capture and make visible a mix of dynamics that is also altering sovereignty but is doing so from the inside out, and on the ground, so to speak - the multiple micro-processes that are reorienting the historic national project towards the new global project. National state policies may still be couched in the language of the national, but at least some of them no longer are: they are now oriented towards building global systems inside the national state.
From there, then, the term denationalization.
Interview with Saskia Sassen in Eurozine
You know Stone's 'Hidden History of the Korean War'?