The John M. Olin Center

Paper Abstract

2. K.A.D. Camara, Costs of Sovereignty, 09/2004

Abstract: Nationalism holds that states should set private international law to best attain the ends justifying their law as a whole. I situate nationalism against its naturalist and internationalist competitors, tracing the evolution of choice of law theory from naturalism to internationalism and now to nationalism. I then state the nationalist theory, identifying five forms of reciprocally imposed effects of and sanctions for states’ claims to sovereignty: “externalities of sovereignty” and “costs of sovereignty;” and explore four paradigm private international law settings a nationalist state might adopt in different substantive areas. I address objections to nationalism, from skepticism about “the ends justifying domestic law” to skepticism about the moral-political right of states to advance those ends exclusively. I then address the relation of nationalism to modern problems in corporate law and the theory of the firm; the ideas of sticky, camouflaged and private sovereignty; and the application of nationalism to a federal entity regulating internal regulatory conflicts. The Article sets the stage for further elaboration of nationalist theory, and for exploration of nationalism in, and nationalist reforms of, the practice of private international law.

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