The Westphalian myth

Was the Peace of Westphalia and its implications for state sovereignty one big myth? The apparently ineradicable notion (repeated even by many recent historians of the war) that the Peace of Westphalia sanctioned the “sovereignty” of Switzerland and the Netherlands and their independence from the empire demonstrates this. In the case of the Swiss it … Continue reading The Westphalian myth

The collapse of socialism and the sovereignty gap

When socialism collapsed in the late 1980s-early 1990s, many debates and contentions were settled, but the issue of sovereignty has only grown in importance thanks in large part to more economic integration. The European attempt at federation, undertaken after the fall of socialism, has not gone well precisely because it cannot close the Westphalian sovereignty … Continue reading The collapse of socialism and the sovereignty gap

From the Comments: New Republics, Westphalia, and Russian Strategy

Thomas L. Knapp (check out his two contributions to the most recent Cato Unbound symposium on voting) has a great comment about Ukraine (Russia) that deserves further scrutiny: In order for Putin to “pull out of” Ukraine, he’d first need to be in Ukraine. The new republics which seceded from Ukraine are not in Ukraine. Knapp brings … Continue reading From the Comments: New Republics, Westphalia, and Russian Strategy

“Libertarianism and international violence”

An oldie but goodie from RJ Rummel: Based on theory and previous results, three hypotheses are posed: 1. Libertarian states have no violence between themselves. 2. The more libertarian two states, the less their mutual violence. 3. The more libertarian a state, the less its foreign violence. These hypotheses are statistically tested against scaled data … Continue reading “Libertarianism and international violence”

Libertarian foreign policy for the 21st century

American libertarians are behind the times when it comes to foreign policy (also known as “international relations”). We’re still, to a large extent, stuck in a Cold War mentality. The non-interventionism of Murray Rothbard and Robert Higgs is still prevalent in our circles, but this non-interventionism is rooted in the bipolar power struggle between the … Continue reading Libertarian foreign policy for the 21st century

Charter cities aren’t all that libertarian, and I doubt they’ll work either

Is economist Tyler Cowen bullish on a new charter city in Honduras? He says he’ll go and report on it if it ever gets off the ground. But let’s be honest with ourselves, it’s not going to ever get off the ground. Why? Two reasons. First (from Cowen’s excerpt): It has its own constitution of … Continue reading Charter cities aren’t all that libertarian, and I doubt they’ll work either

Afternoon Tea: Allegory of the Peace of Westphalia (1654)

This is by Jacob Jordaens, a Flemish painter, and it is not even one of his most famous paintings. Here’s Jordaens’ wiki page. The Peace of Westphalia ended the 30 Years War. The Habsburgs weren’t necessarily the bad guys. The Peace of Westphalia didn’t establish state sovereignty in a system of equal (in theory) nation-states … Continue reading Afternoon Tea: Allegory of the Peace of Westphalia (1654)

Nightcap

The United States needs a new foreign policy (federation not considered) William Burns, Atlantic The elusiveness of a liberal world order (federation not considered) Patrick Porter, War on the Rocks How autocrats use sovereignty in the Westphalian system Lisa Gaufman, Duck of Minerva A reflection on information and complex social orders Federico Sosa Valle, NOL

Reply to ‘Classical Liberalism, Cosmopolitanism and Nationalism’

I write in reply to Edwin van de Haar’s post ‘Classical Liberalism, Cosmopolitanism and Nationalism’, which contains some generous remarks about my social media posts while putting forward a view different from my own about the role of the nation state. Edwin argues that the nation state is foundational to classical liberalism in that post. … Continue reading Reply to ‘Classical Liberalism, Cosmopolitanism and Nationalism’

From the Comments: Military intervention, democracy, and stability

Longtime reader (and excellent blogger in his own right) Tam has an interesting response to Chhay Lin’s thoughts on the Paris terrorist attacks: It is an interesting read indeed but there are two or even more sides to every story. What we are also noting is that many of these groups that hate Western interventionist … Continue reading From the Comments: Military intervention, democracy, and stability