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The Refracted Concept of Sovereignty and Offshore States

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Alain Deneault (Université de Montréal)

If we recognize the sovereign by its ability to emphatically decide in historically exceptional circumstances, then we must today admit that the sovereign doesn’t always take his decisions in accordance with the rule of law. The holders of offshore sovereignty are also sovereign and rival “democracies”, when they are not their accomplices. One half of global financial resources transit through fiscal or legal paradises, free ports or free zones where financiers, lawyers and managers move unheard of sums of money at the intersection of the management of industrial, financial, mafia and criminal activities. There, the least identifiable finance is in effect sovereign. With its own “offshore” entities, of which certain are a part of the Union of 25 (Luxemburg, Cyprus, and Malta), Europe incarnates this major problem. Between states, cheaters, criminals and the people, the concept of “sovereignty” finds itself displaced.