Chicago Journal of International Law


In attacking the orthodox view of an exclusive, incontestable federal monopoly over foreign relations, Edward T. Swaine argues, revisionist scholars have so far failed to address the "ultimate challenge [of] locating new functions and values for the states in a globalized, yet federal, world." Both the criticism and the underlying intuition strike me as substantially correct. The revisionist attempt to rehabilitate federalism and the states presupposes that federalism serves some important value or values. In light of the momentous changes wrought by a global, interconnected world, those values cannot simply be assumed; they have to be identified and defended. That said, Swaine's proposed search for "new functions and values" seems needlessly ambitious. The central dynamics of globalization-increased international mobility of capital and labor, international treaty arrangements that reach deep into formerly domestic affairs, the operation of domestic corporations on a global scale and, conversely, of foreign corporations in home state markets-do, of course, compel a re-thinking of domestic arrangements. Still, it seems likely that the "new" federalism values and functions will be extensions and modifications of the old ones. The real question is whether a globalized world renders familiar features of federalism more functional and valuable, or less so. [CONT]

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