RELAŢII INTERNAŢIONALE ŞI STUDII EUROPENE
Neo-colonialismul și actorii săi în ordinea global
(Neo-colonialism and Its Actors in the Global Order)
Mădălina Virginia ANTONESCU
Abstract: In this paper, we are trying to analyze the relation between state sovereignty , the Westphalian state and, on the other hand, the non-state actors (especially, the transnational companies), that are capable to shape and control forms of economic dominance over new peripheries, in a world based on general, universal and imperative prohibition (inscribed in major documents of international law) regarding imperialism and colonialism, as well as all forms of neo-colonialism and neo-imperialism.
Keywords: state sovereignty, globalist order, neo-colonialism, neo-colonial actor, transnational companies
State sovereignty and actors of the globalist order
According to a definition, state sovereignty is the independence of a state in undertaking actions in relation to an external force. Sovereignty is also a principle designating the place where are born the ability to issue rules and the duty of allegiance, but also the power exercised by the state (setting political goals, drafting decisions) within its borders, without external interference.
These two definitions are quite broad in scope, which is why they cannot be applied to the features of the globalist order at the beginning of the 21st century: thus, in the context of the globalist forces, from the proliferation of non-state actors (transnational companies, non-governmental organisations, clubs, groups of persons, more or less institutionalised) to the proliferation and strengthening of unilateral decision-making power (in relation to states) of international organisations specialised in the fields of banking, economy, finances (the IMF, the World Bank or groups of industrialised states, such as G7 or G8) that do not function based on a special agreement with specific rights and obligations, we can talk about the inclusion of globalist actors in the scope of these definitions. More precisely, the phrase “external forces” or “external interferences” can include not only states, groups of states (organised in more or less institutionalised forms, from international intergovernmental organisations, such as the IMF or the World Bank, to informal decision-making groups or forums with composite participation, not only at the level of states, such as the Davos Economic Forum) whose decisions and/or actions generate, directly or indirectly, at the level of concrete political and economic decisions and measures, a series of changes which would not have taken place if the state in question had benefited from its full sovereignty (internal and external, that is at national level, including economically and in its international relations). The concept of “international relations” has a much broader meaning, including relations between state and non-state actors in the globalist order who exceed the framework of international legal order and, moreover, are within a field which has not yet been regulated by it (as a state-centric right).
Therefore, starting from the above-mentioned definitions of state sovereignty, we can say that we are in the presence of a phenomenon of “neo-colonialism” when “the direct or indirect intervention of external forces or external interferences” affect the content of sovereignty and its concrete exercise by the state in question, on its territory, concerning persons, goods and activities (including economic ones) on its territory or subject to its jurisdiction”.
Starting from the second definition, we may say that we are clearly in the presence of a phenomenon of neo-colonialism (in a globalist sense, that is mostly economic) when sovereignty (defined as “the place where are born the ability to issue rules and the duty of allegiance, but also the power exercised by the state”) is affected by external interferences (or, more than that, they illegally substitute themselves for the state and issue rules in its stead, generating a duty for the citizens to obey the new centre of power – the external colonial force – instead of the lawful power exercised by the state). It is clear that we are talking about phenomena of neo-colonialism which have not been rigorously identified or analysed by legal experts or economists at the beginning of the 21st century. In our opinion, they continue to be either enthusiastic promoters of the forces of globalisation (without thinking of the consequences that these radical globalisation theories have on the future of the nation-state) or the promoters of a rigid state-centrist vision on international law, in which non-state actors and even international organisations such as the IMF or World Bank are seen from a classical, obsolete perspective, being considered “cooperation frameworks of member states” and not active globalist forces, autonomous in relation to states, able to exercise forms of neo-colonialism in the radically changed context (compared to the one of the 20th century) of today’s international world (marked and profoundly changed by globalisation).
At the beginning of the 21st century, these phenomena of neo-colonialism can be exercised by:
– state actors (state-nations, individually or as groups of state-nations which, politically or economically, are highly industrialised states, developing information societies as third wave societies, states that benefit from advanced military technologies, developing knowledge societies specific to the 21st century) forming the First World”.
– secondary actors (international intergovernmental organisations, derived from the will of states, but which gradually fall outside the scope of their trusteeship system, transforming either into hegemonic decision-making centres of a member state, or into integration organisations, by transferring sovereign attributes from member states to a supranational political and legal level)
– non-state actors (international NGOs, individuals, transnational companies, groups of interests, clubs, associations, various periodic forums attended by a composite audience – partly at the level of state representation, partly as globalist actors – directors of banks, corporations, various notable persons, the media etc.).
Understanding colonialism and neo-colonialism from the perspective of the principle of state sovereignty
According to the legal literature, state sovereignty is, in a world marked by conflicts and inequality of power and resources, the best rampart for defending their identity, their rights as states, their independence and dignity. A sovereign state is considered to be the main instrument for implementing the new rules of international law, for which it is internationally accountable.
For a correct understanding of the phenomena of colonialism and neo-colonialism, we think it is relevant to recall the content of the political-legal concept of “sovereignty”: as the supreme power of state on the subjects located on its territory and as freedom from the action of other states (internal and external aspect of sovereignty).
Authors of international law converge towards admitting that a state’s sovereignty is made up of three important elements: the right to domestic independence, the right to equality and independence in the relations with other states and the right to self-determination. Concerning a state’s internal sovereignty, we must recall that no other authority (in that connection, we are talking about “territorial sovereignty”) shall be exercised on a state’s territory. According to authors of international law, this dimension of a state’s sovereignty includes the exclusive right of that state to adopt laws and regulations applicable on its territory, the right to ensure all aspects of state organisation, the right to determine freely various issues of political, economic, social and cultural life.
The sovereign state exercises this essential capacity over all persons and goods subject to its jurisdiction, as well as over the activities exercised on its territory.
Especially from the perspective of globalist order and proliferation of non-state actors, but also of the strengthening of the economic and financial decision-making role of international financial institutions and international organisations (including regarding the strengthening of their power in relation to member states), it is important to recall the fact that a key element of state sovereignty is economic sovereignty, that is “the orientation and management of national economy according to the options freely chosen and assumed by each state” (obviously, by complying with the rules of international law and ius cogens).
This is essential in order to correctly understand the new forms of colonialism that continue to be practiced during 21st century, in a world that, politically and legally, has decreed ever since the end of the 20th century the collapse of colonial systems and placed the phenomenon of colonialism itself under international legal prohibition.
It is important to add the opinion of legal authors concerning the relations between states, from the perspective of state sovereignty; thus, other states may legitimately be concerned with the compliance by another state of its internationally assumed commitments and of rules of international law (since sovereignty is not absolute) when it exercises sovereign attributes on its territory, on persons, goods and activities on its territory or subject to its jurisdiction. But what is essential is that states cannot lawfully substitute themselves, under the current international law, for another state concerning the activities of adopting and implementing its laws or the orientation and management of its economic activity.
Also regarding a state’s economic sovereignty, according to the legal literature, it does not preclude the state in question from exercising certain powers of its sovereignty beyond the limits of its territory (for instance, exercising certain sovereign rights in the contiguous area of its territorial seas, on the continental plateau or in the exclusive economic area).
Or, neo-colonialism and neo-imperialism are forms of domination and exploitation of countries and peoples, which constantly, permanently and brutally affect (unlike interventions or interferences, which have a temporary nature) the economic sovereignty of the latter. These forms of intervention can be exercised in the globalist order both by traditional actors [states, especially highly industrialised states or states which own on their territories the offices/headquarters of transnational corporations (TNCs)] and globalist actors (TNCs, international media, international financial institutions etc.).
An action carried out by traditional actors and by non-state actors, that breaches full permanent sovereignty of a state over its natural resources and wealth, of which, according to current international law, every people is free to dispose, without any pressure, constraints or interference, falls within the category of (economic) neo-colonialism and neo-imperialism, thus falling within the scope of the general, broad prohibition in current international law. Moreover, the legal safeguard of international compliance with the economic sovereignty of all countries can be found ever since 1962, being enshrined by United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1803 (XVII) of 14 December 1962, but also by Resolution 3281 (XXIX) of 12 December 1974, by which the fact that “every state has and shall freely exercise full permanent sovereignty, including possession, use and disposal, over all its wealth, natural resources and economic activities” is internationally recognised.
The prohibition of colonialism and neo-colonialism: the legal framework in force at international level
In the United Nations Legal Order, consolidated at the end of 20th century, numerous international documents of universal and imperative value, opposable erga omnes (since they refer to ius cogens) clearly enshrine, both directly and indirectly, the prohibition to exercise colonialism and neo-colonialism, together with other phenomena associated with the idea of domination, inequality and exploitation of peoples in international relations (hegemony, imperialism, racism).
First of all, we must refer to an indirect prohibition of the forms of colonialism and neo-colonialism at international level:
– through the enshrinement, in the UN Charter, of the principle of non-intervention in the domestic affairs of a state;
– through the enshrinement, in the UN Charter, of the principle of sovereign equality of rights among all states;
– through the enshrinement, in the UN Charter, of the right of all peoples to self-determination;
– through the enshrinement, in the UN Charter, of the principle that States shall settle their international disputes exclusively by peaceful means in such a manner that international security, peace and justice are not endangered;
– through the enshrinement, in the UN Charter, of the principle that States shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations;
– through the enshrinement, in the UN Charter, of the principle that all signatory States shall fulfil in good faith the obligations assumed by them in accordance with the Charter;
– through the enshrinement, in the UN Charter, of the obligation of all States to co-operate with one another in accordance with the Charter.
All these clear regulations, made indirectly (implicitly regarding the prohibition of the forms of colonialism and neo-colonialism in the relations among states) are adopted and consolidated in the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States, according to the UN Charter. This legal document of universal and imperative value erga omnes (since it contains ius cogens) mentions elements from the substance of the above-mentioned principles and duties of states. Their analysis results in the identification of the international prohibition, according to UN standards and values, of the forms of colonialism and neo-colonialism.
For instance, in the context of the principle of states refraining in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations, this declaration mentions (including concerning forms of exercising colonialism and neo-colonialism) the following: “Every State has the duty to refrain from any forcible action which deprives peoples referred to in the elaboration of the principle of equal rights and self-determination of their right to self-determination and freedom and independence” (correlated with the statement in the Preamble of the Declaration, that “the subjection of peoples to alien subjugation, domination and exploitation constitutes a major obstacle to the promotion of international peace and security”, but also with another statement in the preamble, that “the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples constitutes a significant contribution to contemporary international law and its effective application is of paramount importance for the promotion of friendly relations among States, based on respect for the principle of sovereign equality”).
The most indirect references (that is by regulating a principle of international law) to the prohibition concerning colonialism and neo-colonialism are related to the regulation of the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, from the above-mentioned Declaration. There are clearly precise obligations of States, of universal and imperative value, with an incidence on the shaping of the prohibitory scope, in the relations among states, on the phenomena of colonialism and neo-colonialism:
– every state shall bring a speedy end to colonialism, having regard to the freely expressed will of the peoples concerned, bearing in mind that subjection of peoples to alien subjugation, domination and exploitation constitutes a violation of this principle and a denial of fundamental human rights and is contrary to the UN Charter.
By this express obligation, clearly addressed to all States in the above-mentioned international document, the essence of colonialism and neo-colonialism (“systematic, constant actions of subjugation, domination and exploitation of peoples or states by other states”) is implicitly stated. Moreover, a triple perspective on this phenomena, namely the provisions of the UN Charter, human rights and the principle of sovereign equality of states and peoples’ right to self-determination, is expressed.
In the „General Part”, the above-mentioned Declaration recognises the principles of the UN Charter, also embodied in the Declaration; it admits they “constitute basic principles of international law”, calling upon all states “to be guided by these principles in their international conduct and to develop their mutual relations on the basis of the strict observance of these principles”.
Therefore, these are examples of some indirect legal bases which are part of the legal and political prohibitive scope of colonialism and neo-colonialism, including for the century that has just begun.
Concerning the shaping of the scope of direct prohibition of the phenomena of colonialism and neo-colonialism, there are many international documents expressly prohibiting them, among which we mention the following:
– United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1514 (XV) – Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples – adopted on 14 December 1960, during the 15th session (1960) of the United Nations General Assembly
– United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2131 (XX) – Declaration on the Inadmissibility of Intervention in the Domestic Affairs of States and the Protection of their Independence and Sovereignty – adopted on 21 December 1965, during the 20th session (1965) of the United Nations General Assembly
– United Nations General Assembly Resolution 34/103 – Declaration on the inadmissibility of the policy of hegemonism in international relations, adopted on 14 December 1979.
– United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2625 (XXV) of 24 October 1970 – Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States, considered to be the text codifying peoples’ right to self-determination, having an obvious decolonising basis (since, from this perspective, the holders of the right to self-determination are only “the peoples in the colonies or other non-self-governing territories whose status is different from the one of the territory of the state that administers them or who are subject to discriminatory governance”.
– The two international Covenants on human rights, adopted in 1966 – Article 1 of both legal documents referring to ”all peoples” (without making any distinction between peoples who were subject to the process of European colonisation and the other peoples, thus enshrining this right universally, not restrictively).
The substance of this right is a universal one (with erga omnes opposability), providing a powerful and concrete legal safeguard to states and peoples against the phenomena of neo-colonialism and neo-imperialism, both in the relations among them, but also in their relations with globalist actors. Thus, according to the United Nations General Assembly Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, peoples’ right to self-determination is given a broad legal definition: it is understood as the right of peoples “freely to determine, without external interference, their political status and to pursue their economic, social and cultural development”. The definition of this right is a broad and flexible one and it can operate successfully as a legal safeguard (being enshrined in the UN Charter) also in the globalist order, so that it can protect peoples in their relations with the great powers, with other states wishing to exercise forms of neo-colonialism and neo-imperialism over them, but also with other globalist actors (NGOs, informal groups and other types of actors).
According to the legal doctrine, the above-mentioned right is a permanent, imprescriptible right, granted without any historical or spatial conditions or related to certain categories of peoples (according to the Western perspective of the countries which had empires and exercised forms of colonialism over certain peoples).
We notice that the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 34/103 – Declaration on the inadmissibility of the policy of hegemonism in international relations – apparently provides quite a broad definition of the phenomena of colonialism and neo-colonialism (it does not refer strictly to states, unlike the definition of hegemonism laid down in the previous paragraph in the Preamble of the same Declaration, which is seen only as a “manifestation of the policy of a State, or a group of States”). Thus, according to the above-mentioned Declaration, colonialism and neo-colonialism are included in the same category as imperialism and racism (including zionism and apartheid), being “forces which seek to perpetuate unequal relations and privileges acquired by force and are, therefore, different manifestations of the policy and practice of hegemonism”. Therefore, although initially the definition of these phenomena seemed to be a “broad” one, in the end it must be limited (in the state-centrist vision of the Declaration) to the scope of the relations between states and groups of states (through the express reference to the legal definition of hegemonism). Accordingly, in this Declaration, colonialism and neo-colonialism are seen from a state-centrist perspective which today, in the 21st century (in the globalist order of more and more diverse and powerful non-state actors and in the age in which the Westphalian order foundation is eroding, under the pressure of these actors, rivals of state-nations), has become a rigid and obsolete legal framework (from the perspective of the possibilities to extend international accountability, necessary for state and non-state actors and for their actions which actually fall within the scope of colonialism and neo-colonialism or economic colonialism).
Despite all these deficiencies, the above-mentioned legal grounds (direct and indirect) remain in force, regardless of the globalist order marked by the proliferation and rise of non-state actors, representing a solid and universal legal safeguard for the compliance with the state sovereignty principle in the framework of this cultural, economic, political heterogeneous and transnational order.
ARNAULT, Jacques, Procesul colonialismului, translated by I. Băluş, Ed. Ştiinţifică Bucureşti, 1960
BRAFMAN, Ori; BECKSTROM, Rod A., Steaua de mare și păianjenul, translated by Iuliana Raluca Hiliuță, Ed. All, București, 2004
CHIRILĂ, Marian, ”Suveranitatea şi dezvoltarea economică independentă”, in Suveranitatea şi progresul, Nicolae Ecobescu (coord.), Ed. Politică, Bucureşti, 1977
CARREAU, Dominique, Droit international, Pédone, Paris, 1999
COOPER, Robert, Destrămarea națiunilor. Ordine și haos în secolul XXI, translated by Sebastian Huluban, Ed. Univers Enciclopedic, București, 2007
DIACONU, Ion, Tratat de drept internațional public, vol.I, Ed. Lumina Lex, București, 2002
EVANS, Graham; NEWNHAM, Jeffrey, Dicţionar de Relaţii Internaţionale, translated by Anca Irina Ionescu, Ed. Universal Dalsi, București, 2001
GEAMĂNU, Grigore, Drept internațional, vol. II, Ed. Didactică și Pedagogică, București, 1983
GORRA-GOBIN, Cynthia, coord., Dictionnaire des mondialisations, Ed. Armand Colin, Paris, 2006
HELD, David; MCGREW, Anthony; GOLDBLATT, David; PERRATON, JonathaN, Transformări globale. Politică, economie și cultură, translated by Ramona-Elena Lupașcu, Adriana Ștraub, Mihaela Bordea, Alina-Maria Turcu, Polirom, Iași, 2004
HIRST, Paul, Război şi putere în sec. 21, translated by Nicolae Năstase, Ed. Antet, s. l., 2001
KHANNA, Parag, Lumea a Doua. Imperii și influență în noua ordine globală, translated by Doris Mironescu, Polirom, Iași, 2008
KUMAR Malhotra, Vinay, International relations, Anmol Publications, New Delhi, 1993
MEISTER, Albert, ”Le système transnational”, Civilisations, L’Institut International des Civilizations Differentes, Bruxelles, No.1-2, 1975
MIGA-BEȘTELIU, Raluca Drept internaţional. Introducere în dreptul internațional public, Ed. All, București, 1998
MILLER, David, coord., Enciclopedia Blackwell a gândirii politice, translated by Dragan Stoianovici, Humanitas, Bucureşti, 2006
NAISBITT, John, Megatendințe. Zece noi direcții care ne transformă viața; translated by Constantin Coșan, Ed. Politică, București, 1989
PACTET, Pierre, Institutions politiques, droit constitutionnel, Armand Colin, Dalloz, Paris, 2002
ROCHE, Jean-Jacques, Relations internationales, LGDJ, Paris, 2005
SMOUTS, Marie-Claude; BATTISTELLA, Dario; VENNESSON, Pascal, Dictionnaire des relations internationales. Approches. Concepts. Doctrines, Dalloz, Paris, 2006
ȘERBĂNESCU, Ilie, Corporaţiile transnaţionale, Ed. Politică, Bucureşti, 1978
TAKACS, Ludovic; NICIU, Marțian, Drept public, Ed. Didactică şi Pedagogică, Bucureşti, 1976
TAMAȘ, Sergiu, Dicţionar politic, Instituţiile democraţiei şi cultura civică, Ed. Academiei Române, Bucureşti, 1993
UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY, Resolution 2625 (XXV), adopted on 24 October 1970, during the 25th session, 1970
VRABIE, Genoveva, Drept Constituțional și instituții politice contemporane, Ed. Ștefan Procopiu, Iași, 1993
 The present paper reflects only the author’s personal opinions and doesn’t involve other juridical or physical persons.
 Sergiu Tamaş, Dicţionar politic, Instituţiile democraţiei şi cultura civică, Ed. Academiei Române, Bucureşti, 1993, p. 267.
 Idem, p. 266. Also see Genoveva Vrabie, Drept constituţional şi instituţii politice contemporane, Ed. Ştefan Procopiu, Iaşi, 1993, pp. 70-74. Ion Diaconu, Tratat de drept internaţional public, vol. I, Ed. Lumina Lex, Bucureşti, 2002, pp. 275-276. Ludovic Takacs, Marţian Niciu, Drept public, Ed. Didactică şi Pedagogică, Bucureşti, 1976, pp. 35-36. Jean-Jacques Roche, Relations internationals (Relații internaționale, my tr.), LGDJ, Paris, 2005, pp. 84-85. Dominique Carreau, Droit international (Drept internațional, my tr.), Ed. Pédone, Paris, 1999, p. 326. Pierre Pactet, Institutions politiques et droit constitutionnel (Instituții politice și drept constituțional, my tr.), Ed. Armand Colin, 2002, p. 44.
 Jean-Jacques Roche, op. cit., pp. 296- 299, 358-359.
 The role played by the IMF and the World Bank is more and more challenged by Southern developing countries and alter-globalists who denounce their lack of representation and accountability. As a matter of fact, these aspects were identified in a global Human Development Report (UNDP, 2002) which states that they “have always been weak in these institutions”; there are two “weaknesses” that are manifest mainly in the manner they operate and in their policies, since “the institutions are being called on by their powerful members to intrude much more deeply into areas previously the preserve of national governments – especially in developing countries”. We think that the forms of neo-colonialism exercised indirectly (through international financial organisations) by certain states over other states have already been identified in the current international community. See Cynthia Ghorra-Gobin (ed.), Dictionnaire des mondialisations (Dicționarul mondializărilor, my tr.), Ed. Armand Colin, Paris, 2006, p. 208.
 Jean Jacques Roche, op. cit., p. 313. The G7 countries hold more than 45% and 42%, respectively, of the voting rights within the IMF and the World Bank, both including about 184 member states. The United States de facto exercise a veto right, with more than 15% of the voting rights, decisions being adopted by a majority of 85%. The legitimacy crisis within the IMF and the World Bank is due to the lack of transparency in the decision-making process, the functioning of institutions, the control held through voting rights, but also to the principle of weighing member states’ votes according to their financial contribution (which favours highly industrialised states, to the detriment of Southern developing countries), as well as other factors such as: formal representation of developing countries, the challenged nature of economic austerity policies upon which these institutions make conditional the granting of financial aid to the member states, or their way of governance. See Cynthia Ghorra-Gobin (ed.), op. cit., p. 208.
 And it would not even be legal from the perspective of international law, based on the principle of sovereign equality of all states – right that does not allow the adoption of decisions with a global impact by certain member states which can de facto affect the rest of the international community that did not participate in making these decisions.
 International organisation set up in 1945, by virtue of an interstate agreement. Starting from 1962, on the basis of an agreement concluded between 10 industrialised states, members of the Fund, the other member states may be granted credits. Although each member state is represented by a governor within the bodies of the IMF (Board of Governors, the supreme body), in practice, the Managing Director (Chairman of the Executive Board) is commonly appointed from among the states that used to have colonial empires and now represent great industrialised world powers. See Grigore Geamănu, Drept internaţional public, vol. II; Ed. Didactică şi Pedagogică, Bucureşti, 1983, pp. 277-278. In our opinion, the great industrialised powers of today’s world exercise, through organisations such as the IMF or the World Bank, indirect forms of control over states that resort to credits from this organisation. This way, forms of neo-colonialism and neo-imperialism (mainly in the economic sense) are created, which represent forms of relativisation of the principles of the UN Charter, with universal applicability and opposability erga omnes (therefore, they also apply to the member states of the IMF, the World Bank or the EU who use such organisations and interstate cooperation frameworks in order to achieve new ways of indirect economic and political control over other states).
 Jean Jacques Roche, op. cit., p. 314.
 On the three missions of the IMF (manage, finance and control the international monetary system) and the criticism concerning it, see Jean Jacques Roche, op. cit., pp. 311-313.
 Marie-Claude Smouts, Dario Battistella, Pascal Vennesson, Dictionnaire des relations internationals (Dicționar de relații internaționale, my tr.), Dalloz, Paris, 2006, pp. 1-2.
 Jean Jacques Roche, op. cit., p. 139.
 An expression with an extremely wide scope that allows us to include non-state actors, but also groups of states (international cooperation organisations, international organisations specialised in banking, financial and economic fields, or supranational actors – integration organisations, to which member states voluntarily transferred certain sovereign rights, weakening the content of sovereignty as defined in the constitutional and international law).
 Graham Evans, Jeffrey Newnham, Dicţionar de Relaţii Internaţionale, translated by Anca Irina Ionescu, Ed. Universal Dalsi, București, 2001, p. 90.
 Vinay Kumar Malhotra, International relations, Anmol Publications, New Delhi, 1993, pp. 217-218. The author reiterates the fact that neo-colonialism was born once the old type of imperialism ended, in the second half of the 20th century, also being known as “economic imperialism”, “red imperialism” or “dollar imperialism”. It is a type of indirect, covered imperialism, adapted by different strong, industrially developed countries, especially in the economic field. Thus, a country exercises “neo-colonialism” when it indirectly controls, by way of economic levers, another sovereign and independent country (a status relativised through the destruction of economic sovereignty). These countries can apparently be free, sovereign and independent, but, in fact, they are victims of the predatory policy of the great powers using indirect control levers (for interventions through various means, including by using international financial organisations as instruments for controlling the economy and politics of the country in question) in order to ensure that these countries are economically dependent on them. It is a permanent exploitation and domination (indirect, economic, political, cultural, but also military) of a country, especially in the form of “trade, aid, investments” in that country. These forms are subtle, but colonialism and neo-colonialism are forbidden in all forms, under the declarations of the United Nations General Assembly and the principles of the UN Charter.
 David Held, Anthony McGrew, David Goldblatt, Jonathan Perraton, Transformări globale. Politică, economie şi cultură, translated by Ramona–Elena Lupaşcu, Adriana Ştraub, Mihaela Bordea, Alina-Maria Turcu, Polirom, Iaşi, 2004, pp. 26-29.
 Pharag Khanna, Lumea A Doua. Imperii şi influenţă în noua ordine globală, translated by Doris Mironescu, Polirom, Iaşi, 2008, pp. 24-31. Robert Cooper, Destrămarea naţiunilor. Ordine şi haos în sec. XXI, translated by Sebastian Huluban, Ed. Univers Enciclopedic, 2007, pp. 52-68.
 On the hypothesis of a globalist world in which the state is declining and the new forms of organisation are transnational, private or quasi-public (with a dominant actor such as transnational corporations), among which economic organisations will end up absorbing a wide range of political functions, including the ones of the state (state decline would generate the decline of the international system made up of states), see Paul Hirst, Război şi putere în sec. 21, translated by Nicolae Năstase, Ed. Antet, s. l., 2001, p. 93.
 Some authors envisage the transformation of democracy into a participatory political regime, focusing on the corporation, as the new government of the 20th century, and not on the traditional state-citizen relation, which explains the shift of reshaping people’s participation in corporations (from a closed, rigid hierarchical system to a democracy involving participation in the decision-making process). Practically, non-state authors themselves (TNCs) are affected by a profound change, due to the change of generation, which modifies the meaning of “form of organisation” and any institution through which this generation passes. We are witnessing not only a transformation of the state, following internal and external reforms, but also to profound changes modifying globalist actors, such as corporations, international organisations, and which dissociate them from their traditional conception, the bureaucratic, pyramidal age, of closed, uncommunicative systems, in which decisions were taken exclusively at the top. See John Naisbitt, Megatendinţe, translated by Constantin Coşman, Ed. Politică, Bucureşti, 1989, pp. 255-272.
 David Held, Anthony McGrew, David Goldblatt, Jonathan Perraton, op. cit., pp. 79-81. Ori Brafman, A. Rod Beckseckstrom, Steaua de mare şi păianjenul. Puterea de neoprit a organizaţiilor fără lider, translated by Iuliana Raluca Hiliuţă, Ed. All, Bucureşti, 2011, pp. 32-46.
 Ion Diaconu, op. cit., p. 275.
 Nico Schrijver, ”The Changing Nature of State Sovereignty”, in BYIL, 1999, p. 65, quoted by Ion Diaconu, op. cit., p. 331. Enciclopedia Blackwell a gândirii politice, coord. David Miller, translated by Dragan Stoianovici, Humanitas, Bucureşti, 2006, p. 705.
 Genoveva Vrabie, op. cit., pp. 69-74.
 Ion Diaconu, op. cit., p. 277.
 Ion Diaconu, op. cit., p. 277. Marian Chirilă, ”Suveranitatea şi dezvoltarea economică independentă”, in Suveranitatea şi progresul, Nicolae Ecobescu (coord.), Ed. Politică, Bucureşti, 1977, pp. 238-245.
 Ion Diaconu, op. cit., p. 277.
 On the formal independence of countries and the overt or covert forms that can be taken by colonialism (different forms of dependence between the metropolis and the countries subject to this phenomenon), see extensively Jacques Arnault, Procesul colonialismului, translated by I. Băluş, Ed. Ştiinţifică Bucureşti, 1960, pp. 122-126.
 According to certain authors, the forms of neo-colonialism are practiced especially by transnational corporations (TCNs) acting both in industrialised countries and in developing countries, without always having the approval of the countries where their main office or headquarter is located concerning their policies of conquering new markets and profit maximisation, undertaking tax evasion in relation to these states. Transnational corporations are considered to practice a type of neo-imperialism that does not involve the use of armed force in metropolises against colonies in order to ensure their allegiance and exploitation, but that is rather related to re-importing financial resources, as previous investments are being reimbursed or withdrawn. According to Martin Bronfenbrenner, ”Radical Economics in America- A 1970 Survey”, The Journal of Economic Litterature, September 1970, quoted in Ilie Şerbănescu’s book, Corporaţiile transnaţionale, Ed. Politică, Bucureşti, 1978, p. 235.
 Despite legal prohibitions (existing in current international law), the forms of neo-imperialism and neo-colonialism are exercised indirectly, without necessarily involving state mechanisms and structures, precisely to avoid the current legal prohibition. Thus, non-state actors, such as transnational corporations, become, in the globalist world, agents creating an original type of trans-state capitalist system, introduced by them in the economic field, in which poorly developed countries are used and exploited by transnational corporations as economic enclaves (apud prof. Javed Burki, quoted by Albert Meister in ”Le système transnational”, Civilisations, L’Institut International des Civilizations Differentes, Bruxelles, No.1-2, 1975).
 Ion Diaconu, op. cit., p. 277.
 Idem, op. cit., p. 279.
 David Held, Anthony McGrew, David Goldblatt, Jonathan Perraton, op. cit., pp. 76-85.
 Raluca Miga-Beşteliu, Drept internaţional. Introducere în dreptul internațional public, Ed. All, București, 1998, pp. 77-78, 81 (the overriding nature and the special importance of the provisions of the UN Charter for the entire international legal order).
 Ion Diaconu, op. cit., p. 365 (among ius cogens, the sovereign rights of states and peoples – sovereign equality, territorial integration and peoples’ self-determination – are mentioned).
 Concerning the actors, we think that this prohibition refers to the globalist order and non-state actors, such as transnational corporations (considered, for instance, according to Jean Ziegler, to be “the main aggressor of poor peoples, following a fundamental shift of actors, which occurred in the economic international order: there is a transition from the capitalist state as conqueror, protector, tutelary state, as it is known from the forms of classic colonialism, to transnational corporations, as agents creating a trans-state capitalist system”. See Jean Ziegler, Une Suisse au-dessus de tout supçon (O Elveție deasupra oricărei suspiciuni, my tr.), Ed. Du Seuil, Paris, 1976, p. 15, quoted by Ilie Şerbănescu, op. cit, p. 235.
 Regarding the phenomenon of imperialism and neo-imperialism, some authors think that humanitarian intervention, enshrined ever since the 21st century, is a form of imperialism that requires a great capacity of a political actor to act outside its jurisdiction, including by using armed force, in order to protect its nationals, threatened minorities, including religious ones. This form of interference in the domestic affairs of a state, for reasons related to the granting of humanitarian protection to certain groups considered to be oppressed or in danger, is considered by some authors to be “a particular form of neo-imperialism”, especially when we refer to the selective use of armed force, the use and manipulation of the compassion of public opinion and the participation or complacency of the media in observing and considering such an intervention to be legitimate”. The right to interfere, assumed by certain great powers, by using and invoking in the international community the individual and his protection (human rights) against his state (the right to non-interference, non-intervention in domestic affairs, respect for its sovereignty) thus becomes an instrument of neo-imperialism under the above-mentioned circumstances. See Marie-Claude Smouts, Dario Battistella, Pascal Vennesson, op. cit., pp. 292-293.
 This legal principle is a rule of international law, while intervention is considered to be in close connection with a form of neo-colonialism or neo-imperialism (this is the reason for its exceptional, temporary and illegal nature, according to the current rules of international law). But recent developments of the same law have made it somewhat flexible, allowing intervention, under certain circumstances. According to James Rosenau, this notion has two dimensions: a brutal interruption of the course of the relations established between political establishments and the tendency to influence the structure of public authority in the society in question. Thus, intervention occurs when, through his actions, an international actor significantly alters the form of the pre-existing relations in that society (for instance, deploying armed forces in a sovereign state). Interventions are different from external state policies that have a permanent nature and involve a continuous presence of the actor who interferes in the respective society/state. See Marie-Claude Smouts, Dario Battistella, Pascal Vennesson, op. cit., pp. 304-305.
 Or “peoples’ right to freely dispose of themselves”. It is every people’s right to freely determine its political destiny, to freely establish its political status. It is a right historically related to the process of decolonisation, enshrined in the UN Charter and followed by a series of international resolutions issued against colonialism and neo-colonialism. See Marie-Claude Smouts, Dario Battistella, Pascal Vennesson, op. cit., pp. 162-163.
 The United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2625 (XXV), adopted on 24 October 1970, during the 25th session (1970).
 Raluca Miga-Beşteliu, Drept internaţional, op. cit., pp. 77-78, 81.
 Also called “the genuine charter of decolonisation”.
 This legal perspective is clearly restrictive, since it argues “peoples’ right to self-determination does not concern all peoples, but only the colonised ones and their right to form independent states” (therefore, it aims the populations that were subject to European colonial domination)”; given the fact that it has an exceptional, restrictive interpretation, it is a right concerning a particular moment in history and, therefore, it is not universally applicable (according to Marie-Claude Smouts, Dario Battistella, Pascal Vennesson, op. cit., pp. 163-164). But we think it is a dynamic, flexible legal construction which, far from being limited to particular historical periods (European colonialism), since it was classified among other legal principles which are fundamental for the contemporary international legal order (universally applicable), it concerns not only the peoples colonised by Europeans, but any people who faced a phenomenon of colonialism or neo-colonialism (here – economic, cultural, political) in the contemporary age, both from the State and from various other globalist actors. Therefore, this right is universally applicable, designed to provide the necessary legal safeguard for peoples’ defence in a globalist order which is improperly regulated.
 Raluca Miga-Beşteliu, op. cit., p. 134.
 Idem, p. 135.
 Ion Diaconu, op. cit., pp. 275-276.