In This Review

Beyond Westphalia: State Sovereignty and International Intervention
Beyond Westphalia: State Sovereignty and International Intervention
Edited by Gene M. Lyons and Michael Mastanduno
Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995, 324 pp

The latest of a long series of recent books on the obsolescence of the nation-state, this conference volume considers whether anything like an international community, capable of intervention against states violating common international norms, has emerged. The diverse chapters straddle the two poles represented by James Rosenau and Stephen Krasner. The former argues that technological and economic changes have undermined the effectiveness of nation-states, to the benefit of both supranational and subnational actors that have become powers in their own right. Krasner, by contrast, argues that the recent upsurge in interventions is nothing new -- great powers have always acted in concert and taken an interest in the internal affairs of weaker states, as much as this contradicts their emphasis on sovereignty. The editors cautiously conclude that while there is an increased willingness to intervene in other states' internal affairs, the international community lacks the resources for doing so effectively. Looking back on the shameful hypocrisy and weakness of the international community in Bosnia, Somalia, and other trouble spots, there is some reason to be nostalgic about old-fashioned unilateralism by the great powers.