Globalization and the Growth of Executive Power: An Old Story


Globalization and the Growth of Executive Power: An Old Story

Alasdair S. Roberts, University of Missouri at Columbia – Truman School of Public Affairs, February 19, 2016, Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies, 2016, Forthcoming

Abstract: Prepared for the annual symposium of the Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies, Maurer School of Law, March 3-4, 2016. Americans have always worried about an undue concentration of power in the executive branch — and recently, there is concern that globalization might be aggravating the problem. But the concern is overstated, or at least misstated. Globalization is not a new phenomenon, and most of its effect on executive power was realized decades ago. Today, globalization might actually be corroding executive power, either because it undermines the power of the nation-state, or shifts authority to technocrats. If there is a general tendency toward increased executive power in the twenty-first century, this is more directly attributable to other factors, such as improvements in information technology, intensified electoral competition, and the weakening of legal checks on the accumulation of authority in the executive branch.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 18

[CI] This is an interesting take on an old fear.  Perhaps globalism and the rise of extra-national technocracies has affected the relative gravitas of executive power as seen traditionally.   It is also possible that this shift is but a new phase of government building.  What is now rather loose associations and confederations of nation-states, held together by emerging international law, treaties and agreements may someday turn into the central government that observers worry is investing too much power in its executive.

This would fit with the trend in the West since 1648, consolidation from loose association to consolidation within unions of large states of power centrally.   What this paper my be hitting at on the margins is that perhaps we live in the proto-federal phase of a global central government.

About the Author

I am a Southerner, a father, husband, and Christian and retired active duty Army field grade officer; I served for just over thirty years. I spent four years of my youth at The Citadel in Charleston. I am neither a theologian nor a professional historian. I do however ask many questions and endeavor to find answers and I believe, or at least hope, that I think critically and with the understanding that God provides.

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