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Problematic Sovereignty: Contested Rules and Political Possibilities / Edition 1

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Some of the most pressing issues in the contemporary international order revolve around a frequently invoked but highly contested concept: sovereignty. To what extent does the concept of sovereignty--as it plays out in institutional arrangements, rules, and principles--inhibit the solution of these issues? Can the rules of sovereignty be bent? Can they be ignored? Do they represent an insurmountable barrier to stable solutions or can alternative arrangements be created? Problematic Sovereignty attempts to answer these and other fundamental questions by taking account of the multiple, sometimes contradictory, components of the concept of sovereignty in cases ranging from the struggle for sovereignty between China and Taiwan to the compromised sovereignty of Bosnia under the Dayton Accord.

Countering the common view of sovereignty that treats it as one coherent set of principles, the chapters of Problematic Sovereignty illustrate cases where the disaggregation of sovereignty has enabled political actors to create entities that are semiautonomous, semi-independent, and/or semilegal in order to solve specific problems stemming from competing claims to authority.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

The thesis behind this group of papers is that changing political circumstances throughout the world, or perhaps our more nuanced interpretation of them, suggest that conventional notions of sovereignty could usefully be altered. The contributors (academics in international studies, sociology, international legal studies, law, Chinese studies, and political science) consider the complex circumstances of the former Soviet Union, Hong Kong, Tibet, Taiwan, Bosnia, and Palestine. Krasner teaches political science at Stanford U. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231121798
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 2/15/2001
  • Series: International Relations Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 502
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen D. Krasner is Graham H. Stuart Professor of International Relations and Senior Fellow at the Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. His publications include Sovereignty: Organized Hypocrisy.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

Preface, by Stephen D. KrasnerProblematic Sovereignty, by Stephen D. KrasnerSovereignty: The Practitioner's Perspective, by Abraham D. Sofaer and Thomas C. HellerSovereignty from a World Polity Perspective, by John BoliThe Issue of Sovereignty in the Asian Historical Context, by Mchel OksenbergOne Sovereign, Two Legal Systems: China and the Problem of Commitment in Hong Kong, by James McCall SmithThe Struggle for Sovereignty between China and Taiwan, by Robert MadsenThe Sovereignty Script: Red Book for Russian Revolutionaries, by Michael McFaulBelarus and the Flight from Sovereignty, by Coit Blacker and Condoleezza RiceCompromised Sovreignty to Create Sovereignty: Is Dayton Bosnia Futile Exercise or an Emerging Model?, by Susan L. WoodwardThe Road to Palestinian Sovereignty: Problematic Structures or Conventional Obstacles?, by Shibley TelhamiExplaining Variation: Defaults, Coercion, Commitments, by Stephen D. Krasner

Columbia University Press

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