Moving Toward Maturity
David M. Green looks at the subject of international governance through the lens of the International Criminal Court, an institution opposed by the United States.
The ICC is living testimony to the fact that the world is moving – slowly, to be sure – away from the anarchy of the classic Westphalian System, and dragging the most recalcitrant regressive reprobates (you know who we are) along with it. It’s not an easy trick, in part because there is a real legitimacy to the idea of not universalizing all, or even most, policy issues, but only those which absolutely must be located at a global level, retaining the rest for national, provincial and local polities to grapple with as they individually see fit. This is the doctrine of subsidiarity, a key notion in the practice of federalism, that stipulates policy decisions should always be made at the lowest level pragmatically possible, and it’s a good idea.