University of Chicago Legal Forum


This Article explores the fact that United States law permits domestic crossborder political influences while restricting foreign interference in elections. It tries to show that the law is inconsistent in trying to balance its faith in democracy (in a given jurisdiction) with its concern for externalities. Laws forbidding all cross-border attempts to influence politics would seem to reflect the view that decision-making processes across a border should be respected rather than subject to interference, assuming that the other jurisdiction is reasonably democratic. The analysis explores, and offers examples of, the interaction between a faith in democracy and the consideration of externalities, such as cross-border pollution.

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