In This Review

Constitutionalizing Globalization: The Postmodern Revival of Confederal Arrangements
Constitutionalizing Globalization: The Postmodern Revival of Confederal Arrangements
By Daniel J. Elazar
Rowman and Littlefield, 1998, 251 pp

This work is a valuable attempt to make sense of the proliferation of confederal institutions since 1945. Elazar, coeditor of Publius: A Journal of Federalism, sees the emergence in recent years of a "paradigm shift from statism to confederalism," a transformation in world politics fostered by the multilateral institutions created after World War II. The author does not view confederation as an inferior form of political organization, a once common judgment that reflected its critical treatment in The Federalist Papers and its larger association with states' rights and the Confederacy. Instead, he sees it as a sometimes viable and appropriate alternative for states that seek the advantages of cooperation but fear surrendering their sovereignty to a tighter federation. Elazar provides little policy guidance on how the reform of international institutions should proceed, but he demonstrates convincingly that the federal tradition brings many insights to the task of "constitutionalizing globalization."