Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 21 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Although the American Founders intended to centralize power over foreign affairs in the national government, the modern reality is considerably more complex. To be sure, the national government dominates the core of foreign affairs: the conduct of foreign policy toward other nations. Yet even here, states and municipalities intrude from time to time. More broadly, state and local governments remain important players in areas such as immigration and commercial regulation that have important international dimensions. Federalism constrains—legally and especially politically—the international agreements that the national government can enter into, and central authorities remain dependent on state and local officials to implement many important international commitments. Internal and external forces have combined to make a multilayered approach to foreign affairs inevitable in the United States. Internal forces include the constitutional structure itself, which stops short of giving exclusive foreign affairs powers to the national government and reserves important authority to the states, as well as the more contemporary impact of polarization in American political life. On the external side, globalization has blurred the very distinction between foreign and domestic affairs, and international law’s increasing preoccupation with nations’ treatment of their own citizens has rendered many traditional areas of state governance subjects of international concern.

Keywords: foreign relations law, dual federalism, concurrent jurisdiction, states, treaties, international law, preemption, Missouri v. Holland, political polarization

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.