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Sovereignty or Submission: Will Americans Rule Themselves or Be Ruled by Others?

Author: Ryan Kaminski, Senior Program Manager for Human Rights, United Nations Foundation
March 2012
Yale Journal of International Affairs


John Fonte's Sovereignty or Submission fashions itself as a wake-up call to U.S. policymakers asleep at the helm while increasingly serious threats to U.S. national sovereignty and constitutional democracy abound. These dangers, as the author describes, emanate from the influence of international organizations, treaties, multinational corporations, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), rights activists, foundations and other actors collectively labeled as the "global governance party." Drawing a distinction between traditional international law among states and the problematic growth of transnational law promulgated by actors within the global governance party, Fonte calls for a comprehensive recommitment to his self-coined and quintessentially American concept of "Philadelphian Sovereignty." Doing so is vital, Fonte suggests, to maintain the supremacy of the U.S. Constitution, keep sovereignty entrusted to U.S. citizens, and to prevent the United Nations (UN), the International Criminal Court (ICC), or other human rights conventions from trampling on the sovereignty of the United States.

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