Sovereignty is at the very centre of the political and legalarrangements of the modern world. The idea originated in thecontroversies and wars, both religious and political, of 16th and17th century Europe and since that time it has continued to spreadand evolve. Today sovereignty is a global system of authority: itextends across all religions, civilizations, languages, cultures,ethnic and racial groupings, and other collectivities into whichhumanity is divided.In this highly accessible book, Robert Jackson provides a conciseand comprehensive introduction to the history and meaning ofsovereignty. Drawing on a wide range of examples from the USDeclaration of Independence to terrorist attacks of 9/11 he showshow sovereignty operates in our daily lives and analyses the issuesraised by its universality and centrality in the organization ofthe world. The book covers core topics such as the discourse ofsovereignty, the global expansion of sovereignty, the rise ofpopular sovereignty, and the relationship between sovereignty andhuman rights. It concludes by examining future challenges facingsovereignty in an era of globalization.This interdisciplinary study will be of interest to a wide range ofstudents, academics and general readers who seek to understand thisfundamental concept of the modern world.
About the Author
Robert Jackson is Professor of International Relations and Political Science at Boston University.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Sovereignty and Modernity.
Manifestations of Sovereignty.
Sovereignty and Modernity.
Independence and Supremacy.
Power, Authority, Responsibility.
The Discourse of Sovereignty.
Chapter 2 'A Shocking Idea'.
Europe before Sovereignty.
The Revolution of Sovereignty.
Chapter 3 Sovereigns of Europe and the World.
The Great Transformation.
The Divine Right of Kings.
Chapter 4 Popular Sovereignty.
In the Name of the People.
The End of Sovereignty?.
Chapter 5 Sovereignty and Humanity.
Protecting Human Rights.
Human Rights, Human Wrongs, and Sovereign States.
Human Rights under International Law.
Chapter 6 Sovereignty and Globalization.
9/11 and the State.
The Globalization Thesis.
The Sovereign States System.
Presuppositions of a States System.
Between Past and Future
What People are Saying About This
“A strong, coherent and logical narrative ... Its lucid and cogent approach makes it highly useful to those new to the subject and its substantial arguments will stimulate those who are more advanced.”
“Sovereignty is a systematic survey of the history of an idea. It accomplishes the ambitious task of untangling the often conflated concepts of authority, supremacy, independence and power from sovereignty. As such, it is a must-have for researchers and teachers concerned with understanding the development of independent, sovereign states.”
David A. Armstrong, Nuffield College, Oxford
“Sovereignty is the great survivor among modern political concepts. Its death – and the retreat of the State and society of states that it supports – have often been foretold. Yet they persist. In this penetrating and elegantly written book Robert Jackson explains why. It will be indispensable reading for all students of politics and international relations.”
James Mayall, Centre of International Studies, Cambridge
“Historically grounded and philosophically rich, Jackson’s examination of sovereignty will take a deserved place among the primary works on this foundational concept of international politics. In illustrating how the practices and institutions of sovereignty retain their vitality, he also demonstrates the freshness and cogency of his own thought.”
David Clinton, Baylor University