8 Οκτωβρίου 2015

Cultural Diplomacy, Global Governance, and Democratic Sovereignty. A Lecture by John D. Fonte (ICD - Institute for Cultural Diplomacy). Author of "Sovereignty or Submission: Will Americans Rule Themselves or be Ruled by Others?".


Biography

John Fonte is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for American Common Culture at the Hudson Institute. He is the author of "Sovereignty or Submission: Will Americans Rule Themselves or be Ruled by Others?", winner of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s Paolucci-Bagehot book award for 2012 and a number-one rated Amazon best-seller in international law. Fonte’s ideas on "lawfare" were cited in the annual New York Times Magazine's "Year in Ideas" as among the most noteworthy of 2004.

Fonte's articles and essays on citizenship, history, civic education, patriotism, assimilation, immigration, civil rights, global organizations, American sovereignty, and liberal democracy have appeared in Foreign Affairs, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Commentary, Orbis, National Review, The National Interest, Policy Review, American Enterprise, Transaction, Academic Questions, American Legion Magazine, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, San Diego Union-Tribune; as well as internationally, in LeFigaro (France), in Nativ (Israel), in Opinio (Netherlands), Perfiles Liberales (Mexico), Policy (Australia), Review (Australia), The Weekend Australian (Australia), and the National Post (Canada). He is co-editor of Education for America's Role in World Affairs (University Press), a book on civic and world affairs education used in universities and teacher training institutes.

He has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, BBC, France 24 Live News, Voice of America, News Talk TV, Bloomberg TV, the Armstrong Williams Show, as well as numerous radio programs throughout the country including National Public Radio.

Fonte has been a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute where he directed the Committee to Review National Standards under the chairmanship of Lynne V. Cheney. He also served as a senior researcher at the U.S. Department of Education and a program administrator at the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). He is currently on the Board of the American Council for Trustees and Alumni (ACTA).

Fonte has testified before Congress on immigration, assimilation, citizenship, citizenship naturalization and on civil rights issues. He has served as a consultant for the Texas Education Agency, the Virginia Department of Education, the California Academic Standards Commission, the American Federation of Teachers, and the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Lithuania. He was a member of the steering committee for the congressionally-mandated National Assessment for Education Progress (NAEP) which issued the "nation's report card" on civics and government.

He served as principal advisor for CIVITAS: A Framework for Civic Education funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts, and he was appointed by the general editor to write the chapter on The Federalist Papers. He has taught at the higher education and secondary school levels. He received his Ph.D. in World History from the University of Chicago, and his M.A. and B.A. in History from the University of Arizona.

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Cultural Diplomacy, Global Governance, and Democratic Sovereignty



Thank you, pleasure to be here. I will talk a little about global governance and democracy, which you’ve certainly heard a lot about. There is today, in the developed world anyway, a prevailing zeitgeist, a dominant narrative, a set of core assumptions and presuppositions of how the world should work. That is a normative description, how the world should work. It’s not an empirical or descriptive of how it does work.

Well the dominant paradigm is a sort of narrative, we could say. It runs something likes this: we need to build new global architecture, transnational institutions, norms and laws, at the same time promote democratic values to advance a more prosperous, peaceful and democratic world. So, it means leading officials from western and developed world government talk in this manner. We share the political commitment to a rules-based globalization, we believe in a functioning system of global governance. Ok, so this narrative combines two ideas: the advance of global governance and global institutions as well as the advance of democratic values. It’s presented as a harmonious hole with little tension between them, sort of harmoniously.

Now, I want to spend the next 20 minutes examining what I think is wrong with this narrative and presenting the counter-narrative, that I believe is more likely to achieve a prosperous, peaceful and democratic world. I am going to suggest that the goals of this symposium, the goals of cultural diplomacy - building cultural bridges and strengthening the cross-cultural relationships for the benefit improving international relations and international security, the whole goals of cultural diplomacy - are not well served by understanding the world by through the lens of the narrative of global governance, at least at it is seen today. The dominant narrative tells us that the architecture of global governance and liberal democracy are complementary. I will argue that they are often contradictory.

Let’s start with the question: how many of you have heard the phrase, ‘global problems require global solutions?’ Raise your hand if you ever heard that phrase ‘global problems require global solutions’. It’s just about everybody. So what are some global problems then? World poverty we can say is a problem, the lack of social mobility, violence, war and peace, violations of human rights and so on. Let’s take the economic issue; many people in the world are living in sub poverty conditions today. Different solutions are proposed, but in the all cases what these solutions are, are disputed, people are arguing about these solutions. The solutions are of course political, aren’t they? A social democratic approach will be one that emphasizes Keynesian economics, government programs, higher taxes and some types of capitals. That’s quite different form let’s say Reagan/Thatcher approach, that emphasize the role of free markets, deregulation of some of the government’s economics authority, so it’s depend on your point of view and how we handle the problem of global poverty.

I’m presuming that everyone in this room, myself included, believes in sort of rules-based globalization, but it depend upon what the rules are and who has the right to make the rules. We hear a lot about global rules, but who makes them, what are they? The single most important question in world government world politics, just two words: “who decides”? Who decides what kind of economic policy we should live under? Who decides what our national security policy is? Who decides what our immigration policy is? Who decides what are and what are not human rights? That is very interesting, I was listening to professor Primrose’s talk, just in the last session it was really interesting. He told the story about a people coming here; one was Mr. Vargas who comes from the Philippines and someone coming for the American dream. Well interesting question, and probably the core is when you say what is democracy, what do we mean by liberal democracy? To what extent does democracy mean government by consent or be governed, who would agree with that sort of point of democracy? That is a key part of it then, government by consent of the government. Well Mr. Vargas has his dream, he is coming here, but of course he’s here without the consent of the government. Many people have arrived without consent of the government. That is about what is being debated today, you know the number of folks we have and there are rules. So some people may have their certain circumstances, but people can come here with or without the consent.

I want to start digging a little bit deeper it to some of these issues I think that is what you are going to find. So who governs? Who decides? This is the oldest question in politics, it is back to Plato and Aristotle, they wrote about this. Who should make these decisions? They say liberal democracy has one set of answers. Democracy, demos, people, see rule of the people, consent, govern by content of the governed. It’s doesn’t mean that 51% of the people ram their views down the throats of the other 49%. There are some sorts of limitations; the government is also limited. So we not only have the democracy, we have liberty so together it makes liberal democracy. So the liberal democracy is a compound system, it is not just one system of majoritarian rule, it is a system of liberal democracy, liberty and democracy together, government can do these things that people agree to but there are certain things that are limited. There are certain things that governments cannot do: come to your house, break it down and arrest you for no reason. So it is limited.

So, I am suggesting a counter narrative to the global governance paradigm. I am suggesting that when you are looking at the world we shouldn’t simply think of what we are seeing today in global governance. We should see the world today - the developed world I’m talking about here because in the developing world there is still a struggle of getting to liberal democracy – in which it is established that we have an arena of ideological competition between two different agendas. One is democratic sovereignty, liberal democracy, through a nation state and the other is global governance and supranational governments and the EU, European Union, is partly supranational. There is a different way of deciding thinks, of making decisions. Decisions are not made necessarily by national parliaments, but there are made in some cases by the European Commission or European Council. The European Parliament can veto but they really can’t propose things. So there are two different ideas in the world, the developed world today, the world of sovereign democracy, and the global governance.

I have written a book; in Washington you’re supposed to promote your books, so I’m going to promote this one. It’s called “Sovereignty or Submission”, there is an American title too. I have a chapter on the European Union, I have a chapter about what is going on in Israel - it is a world affair. I am saying that this is the conflict, in the developed world, between democratic sovereignty and global governance. Now in this book, and in my arguments that I have been making in the last couple of years, I distinguish between just pure and national sovereignty and democratic sovereignty. The national sovereignty we’re implying North Korea or Burma or other authoritarian states. We know about Westphalian sovereignty from international relations from the treaty of Westphalia. Its means that the state is sovereign, the sovereignty means the sovereign, the king, the queen, the state is sovereign. So, I come with the title, instead of Westphalian sovereignty I am more interested in Philadelphian sovereignty. It rhymes with Westphalia, but with Philadelphia I am thinking about the American Constitution or the Declaration of Independence. At the beginning of the American Constitution says ‘we the people of United States’ so the idea at least is that the people are sovereign, not the state but the people so that is Philadelphian sovereignty as opposed to Westphalian sovereignty. So I distinguish this in my book and my recent arguments that I have been giving the last couple of years.

So how we define the other theory? Global governance, we’ve heard a lot about that. Well, Abraham Lincoln defines sovereignty as a political community without political superior, nobody above that. The leading fears of global governance define democratic states as subordinate beneath the institution of global governance. We have an example; Anne-Marie Slaughter has been a leading theorist of global governance, she was a head of the United States State Department Office of Policy and Planning, that is the in-house think-tank, a very important office, that George Cannon headed once - if you know about cold war history. Slaughter said that nations should cede sovereign authority to supranational institutions and transnational networks. Well that’s what they’ve done in Europe, they’ve ceded authority to the European Commission or the European Court of Human Rights, and various pan-European institutions that are above the nation state.

Well, Slaughter says that we can do this on a global basis and she maintains that supranational institutions and networks can perform, this is a direct quote, can perform many of the functions of world government: legislation, administration and adjudication without the fore, thereby creating an effective global rule of law. So, if we go back to Abraham Lincoln’s formulation of sovereignty, the global governance agenda would be a political superior, some global institutions and global laws would be superior. But again, getting back to the most important question: who decides? Who decides when global institutions and laws are superior to the democratic nation sates? Now, in my argument I am not rejecting internationalism or international cooperation. I am presenting a counter-narrative, which is robustly internationalist, just done by democratic states. What I am criticizing here is a non-democratic global overreach, and that should be clear in few minutes.

Obviously, the nation states enter many treaties and international agreements for mutual benefit, for which they agreed to limit sovereignty. They mostly appear to international law in most cases. By international law, including customary international law, is built on state consent, states have to agree. The problem arises when the democratic consent is missing.

So I’m going to give you two examples before we get to question period. Two examples of where there are problems in the global governance arguments. Let’s examine the institution that probably many people here in the room think of as a very good institution: the International Criminal Court. Let’s examine that in the context of democratic values and the context of human rights and the context of democratic accountability. The International Criminal Court, the ICC, was established as a permanent global court to deal with the most egregious international crimes including genocides, crimes against humanity, war crimes and crimes of aggression. This was the idea after Nuremburg, what we needed was a set of norms from just the allies, the four victorious powers of World War Two making decisions what will be a global core, so they created this court. More than 100 countries are members of the Rome Statute that established the ICC, but leading democracies have refused to join. The United States is one, but also the world largest democracy, India, isn’t a member, the world largest Muslim democracy, Indonesia, is not a member, Israel is not a member, El Salvador and some other countries are not. And they are objecting on the grounds of what I call democratic sovereignty.

Let’s take a hypothetical case; let’s take the world largest democracy, India. Let’s say it is very possible that this could happen: Indian troops are on peace-keeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo – the Democratic Republic of the Congo is member of ICC – and war crimes are allegedly committed by the Indian soldiers. Now, even though India is not a part of the ICC, Congo is so there could be some claims of jurisdiction. Now, what would happen is the question of subsidiarity – I’m Sure that you have heard this term before - would kick in. For subsidiarity and in ICC rules this is called complementarity. It means, that in this particular case India could say: “Ok. Our soldiers are charged with war crimes, we are going to try these Indian soldiers in an Indian court.” So they try them in an Indian court. Let’s say they are acquitted. At this point ICC would say: “Well there was something fishy about this trial, we think, even though you have a democratic legal system”. If the party is unwilling or unable to conduct a legitimate trial, then the ICC can take over, if the ICC decides. So in this case the ICC could say: “Well we think that you were unwilling to have a regular trial, so we are taking over this case”. This is according to the ICC rules, it would determine the global prosecutor of the spectrum of the ICC could ask in a pre-trial chamber of the ICC and they would rule out of two to one vote to take this case.

So in this case we have according the rules of ICC- the ICC is autonomous supranational institution of global governance - so they would claim legal authority or the citizens of national democratic state, in this case India without the consent of that state. Now there is a further problem, according to Freedom House, 37% of the nations that belong to the International Crime Court are not completely free societies. So could have in this case the judges from dictatorships like Chad, Congo, Kyrgyzstan some other countries as Venezuela that is listed by Freedom House. The judges of those countries could sit in judgment over country citizen of functioning democracies, such as Israel, Indonesia, India and El Salvador. Now, state consent has always been the core principle of international law, hence the rules of the ICC, in which almost every European country is a member, are themselves in violation of international law and I would say they are an affront to international governance.

Now, there is another issue though, what is a war crime? What constitutes a war crime? Well, that is in dispute. The dominant legal opinion of International Criminal Court is in the 1977 Additional Protocol 1 in the Geneva Contention. We’ve all heard about the Geneva Contention, you know, World War II, Red Cross delivering packages and so on. Well in 1977 they added a bunch of stipulations to the Geneva Contention called the Additional Protocol 1. One example of the Additional Protocol 1 is a belligerent - let’s say that there’s a war going – a belligerent is required to warn the other side before air attack if there are civilians in the air so the civilians could leave the area. So in the World War II you would be calling up Berlin saying there’s an air attack coming, you better clear your civilians out of the way. Well obviously if they warn the other side, they are tipping off the other side’s air defenses and putting their own airmen at risk. However, if they do not do it, they are committing a possible war crime according to the current International Criminal Court definition. Now, remember the International Crime Court was established to deal with most egregious crimes: genocides, crimes against humanity, war crimes - the Nuremberg trials are often evolved.

Well, many nations and democracies do not adhere to this definition, to the ICC Additional Protocol 1’s definition, because they know the difference between Nuremberg, between the holocaust, and warning an enemy before an air attack. There is a difference between them. So my critique of International Criminal Court is not that is a good idea in principal but it’s still got a lot to achieve in practice. I am saying that is a bad idea in practice. Now, if United States did not exist - because I took another examples, I didn’t mention the United States - if it didn’t exist as a nation state, the principals of the ICC would be still be problematic because they are at odds with the concept with government by consent of government.

I want to give you one more example. I would like to give you a sort of domestic policy example before we go to questions. Various human rights treaties are being developed by the UN since the formation of UN declaration of Human Rights, most people know about that. That was created under the leadership of Eleanor Roosevelt, right after War World II. One of the treaties, that was created, there was many different areas sort of based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is the UN Convention for the Elimination of Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the CEDAW treaty. I am a member of International Society for International Law, so before I wrote the book, three years ago I had the conversation with one of the members of CEDAW Monitoring Committee of UN, she was on that committee that goes around the world for countries that sign the UN treaty and see if they are in compliance and have questions, and there are checking what the governments are doing to be in compliance with the CEDAW treaty. I was talking to her and I said: “Yes, I remember the case in 1997 where the CEDAW report on Slovenia complained that in Slovenia only 30% of the women have their children in daycare centers”. That was a problem for CEDAW. I said: “well, why was that an issue?” I said for one thing the government was just elected; in 1997 it was the Christian-democratic party was elected on the platform they will have benefits for home stay parents, usually women. This was there policy, they were elected and did this. So I said: “isn’t it what happens in free societies?” and the UN representative said: “no, what this policy basically does is reinforce old stereotypes and in the UN committee’s view it deprives children of the educational and social opportunities that would be available in the daycare center, so they would be deprived of these centers. So I went through their election, and suggested that you could have a new election” - which actually happened in Slovenia and the social democratic government came in and they changed the daycare policies.

So isn’t this how that things work in free society? Isn’t it a question of policy? Isn’t a question of daycare centers in Slovenia, a question if democracy can decide by itself? Can democratic parliament decide or individuals can make these decisions? And the CEDAW monitor said, who is a big advocate in global governance action, said: “no, this was not a policy issue, that was a matter of universal human rights. Slovenian policy on stay-at-home parents was discriminatory and hurt women rights. In this case global norms trump legislation from a democratically elected parliament.” So I contend that this is not what Eleanor Roosevelt had in mind, when the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was agreed to and signed. That wasn’t really what people had in mind when they signed the CEDAW treaty in Beijing in the 70’s. Today we have a bloated definition of human rights, which is crowding out democratic decision-making. Now, are they policies or are they what? Which is in this case is outside of democratic arena.

Now, again as with all this global problems we are discussing including security problems or domestic policy problems, these are problems about which intelligent people can disagree. What exactly constitutes women rights or human rights? In which system this determination should be done? Should it be a liberal democracy with the nation state? Or should it be global governance? Or since we have a lot of Europeans here should it be decided by the European Court of Human Rights? When I was in Britain couple of years ago, there was a big question; Britain was trying to extradite what they consider terrorists, and they wanted to send them from the country. The case went before the Strasbourg court, which is not an EU court, it is a member of the European Council on Human Rights. It said, ‘you cannot deport these terrorists, or whom you consider to be a terrorist because it is questions human rights if they go back to Jordan - they may be in danger in Jordan.’ The British parliament passed the law saying they are going to deport them. So there is the question, who decides here? Who decides about national security and policy in Britain? Is it decided by the British parliament, elected by the British people? Or is it decided by judges of the European Council on Human Rights in Strasbourg, who don’t have to live with the consequences of their decisions? So again we always go back to the question of who decides? Who decides family law in Slovenia or national security issues in Britain? Is it a supranational institution or democratically elected legislator? The devil is always in the details.

Now, a leading American professor, I won’t mention his name but a leading American professor of International Relations is advocating that human rights decisions are best made by what he called epistemological communities. Epistemological means knowledge-based, so people who have the knowledge. So in this case they should make decisions on human rights - so that will be global, legal experts, basically. So this is rule by an oligarchy, it is not rule by democracy. So I suggest to you, the advocates of global governance and that includes the European Union, you have not yet solved the democracy deficit. As Josh Fisher himself said we haven’t solved the deficit democracy problem.

Now the Institute for Cultural Democracy is conducting a series of symposia in 2014 across the globe on issues such as world peace the interfaith dialogue, international laws, sustainable development, youth empowerment, women rights, human rights, peace building through conflict resolution. All of these issues will not be discussed in a vacuum; they will be discussed within an overreaching narrative. I suggest to you a framework that examines two competing visions, two competing narratives of international progress, how to achieve international progress. On one hand democratic sovereignty, democratic nation states working together, on the other hand global governance, where you have the supranational institutions. There are two choices. This competition I am suggesting I think is a better way and I think it addresses what the global governance narrative fails to seriously address, which is its own inherent contradictions and I will stop there.