The international political order that was created after the Second World War is based on the concept of sovereignty. With the breakup of the western empires, the sovereign nation-state became the basic and dominant form of political order. These sovereign states adopted numerous treaties that regulated the complicated relationship between them. The treaties attempted to cover as many aspects of this relationship as possible, from the delivery of mail to the development of nuclear energy. The pervasive nature of this order has earned it the title “global”. Being a part of this order is a prerequisite for providing citizens with global services such as information technology and financial clearance.
Still, the basic logic of the “global” order is a narrow notion of sovereignty. Globality is enforced to the extent that it suits the specific interests of specific states. It is possible to wage a “global war on terror”, for example, because all states are concerned about the physical security of their citizens. It is less possible to create “global” cooperation in order to fight global warming, as this is potentially damaging to the economic interests of some states (more than others). First and foremost, sovereignty still serves to impose borders. Free movement is a privilege reserved mostly for capital, not for many goods and commodities and certainly not for people. The “global” remains an exception to most rules and is dependent on express consent which is not easily given.