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Idle thinkings.

So I mused (to myself) a bit on this in the other day's post, but

The other day I blogged about self-determination in Afghanistan. In that post, I referred to Max Fisher's article in The Atlantic, in which he explains the significance of the recent outbreaks of violence in Afghanistan in terms of muzzled self-determination.

Part of me wanted to muse, then, on whether he really meant 'popular sovereignty', though I soon figured he prolly didn't. Still, it was interesting, if utterly idle, to reflect on the differences between the terms, and what impact the choice of either would have had on the content of the argument.

While self-determination deals with a nation's right to make decisions for itself without outside intervention, popular sovereignty seats the authority & legitimacy of a legislative body and its laws with the people it governs and is elected by.

Still, though, if you look at the article he could have meant some mixture of either. The article focuses on the people, not the nation, in their reactions to perceived infringement by exterior forces upon their country's right to make its own decisions. As it seems Fisher's inferring the national temperature based on individuals' reactions and outcry, it would seem, naturally, that Fisher is presuming some kind of popular sovereignty; Fisher has implied the legitimacy of a nation's self-determinations resides in the sovereignty of its people.

That's hardly a surprising or groundbreaking suggestion, really, but I drift in and out of these sorts of mental meanderings rather often. I find them enjoyable enough, mostly. Idle musings can be delicious.


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