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Subsidiarity

Subsidiarity

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Published by Jay Taber
Modern state model, international institutions, and the conflict with indigenous understandings
Modern state model, international institutions, and the conflict with indigenous understandings

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Published by: Jay Taber on May 17, 2013
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Subsidiarity
By Jay Taber While the 1648 reorganization of international relations under the concept of  Westphalian  sovereigntyheld out promise as an alternative to feudalism in Europe, the modern statemodel agreed to there is no longer functional. If our goal is peace and prosperity, then theinternational institutions that evolved from that model have to change. A new model musttake into account the Indigenous nations subsumed by states, as well as the sovereigntymauled by markets under globalization.
 Realities that go beyond the statist framework 
is the topic of Navnita Chadha Behera’sarticleAlternative to the Westphalian rashtra. Examining the intellectual tools required tofashion an understanding of international relations suitable to post-colonial, post-independence Southasia, Behera condemns the ‘epistemic violence’ of Eurocentric political realism. It is this positivist enterprise, says Behera, that scientificallydelegitimises Southasia’s traditional pasts, traditional pasts that could and should serve asa source of knowledge creation. As a modern invention and historical product thatexcludes indigenous understandings in contrast to positivist enterprise, the artificialWestphalian state model is in opposition to genuine nations and their ways of knowing.Exploring the subject of international governancethrough the lens of the InternationalCriminal Court -- an institution opposed by the United States -- David M. Green notesthat the ICC is living testimony to the fact that the world is moving slowly away from theanarchy of the classic Westphalian System. Although there is a real legitimacy to the ideaof not universalizing all, or even most, policy issues, but only those which absolutelymust be located at a global level, the doctrine of subsidiarity -- a key notion in the practice of federalism, that stipulates policy decisions should always be made at thelowest level pragmatically possible -- as an institutional framework for international politics, says Green, is a good idea. The problem with the current system is that thestructure doesn't work.The accumulative aspects of theTIMN modelcontribute to our understanding of thecurrent governance trend toward subsidiarity. Autonomy of first nations (i.e. Scots,Basques, Sami) and self-determination of tribal minorities -- alongside state structures --allows for simultaneous development of more cohesive and effective loci of decisionmaking, and by reference, more democratic participation.One of the best kept secrets of social evolution -- due to their invisibility in mainstreammedia -- is this resumption of governance by first nations, for the most part absent theformation of independent states. Having since 1948 (under the concept of human rights)gained greater control over their education, development and resource protection, theseroughly two billion people on all continents recently challenged the UN and its member states to honor international law by allowing their delegates a seat at the table on climatechange negotiations. Indigenous peoples may have been crushed, but they have

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