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9 Reconceptualizing Recognition Uniformity

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Chapter Summary

Proponents of federalization list several problems with the current state-based approach. They argue that it frustrates U.S. foreign policy by allowing foreign creditors to take advantage of state-based policies that lack reciprocity requirements. This chapter shows how the debaters have largely misconceptualized uniformity, and explores a reconsideration of how one views this component of the discourse. It argues that "outcome" uniformity, i.e., past litigant and court behavior, can be observed empirically, and that that approach presents the most promising method to inform the policy debate. The chapter explains that because much of the recognition outcome is the product of judicial interpretation, there is a dearth of evidence showing that the federalized alternative would produce significantly more outcome uniformity than the current state-by-state approach. It concludes that, while there may be good reasons for federalization, the uniformity justification currently lacks adequate theoretical and empirical support.

Keywords: federalization; recognition uniformity; state-based approach; U.S. foreign policy



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