Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium
Many critics think the war in Iraq shows the problem with
"unilateral action" by the United States. There may be some truth
to that claim. But our experience certainly does not show that
international institutions provide a reliable or even a plausible
alternative to independent action by sovereign states. Iraq's
sectarian conflicts also should remind us that a country with an
inadequate sense of its own national sovereignty is a country
inviting tyranny of conquest. And hardly anything we have learned
would be news to the American Founders - who were already building
on premises we are now painfully relearning.
Jeremy Rabkin is Professor of Government at Cornell University,
where he teaches courses on international law and American
constitutional history. He holds a Ph.D. (in political science)
from Harvard University and received his Bachelor of Arts degree
from Cornell. He has written widely on the meaning and concept of
sovereignty in contemporary international politics and in the
history of constitutional government. His most recent book is
Law Without Nations? Why Constitutional Government Requires
Sovereign States (Princeton University Press, 2005).
More About the Speakers
Jeremy Rabkin, Ph.D.
Professor of Government,
Matthew Spalding, Ph.D.