Sovereignty is at the very centre of the political and legal arrangements of the modern world. The idea originated in the controversies and wars, both religious and political, of 16th- and 17th-century Europe and since that time it has continued to spread and evolve. Today sovereignty is a global system of authority: it extends across all religions, civilizations, languages, cultures, ethnic and racial groupings, and other collectivities into which humanity is divided.
In this highly accessible book, Robert Jackson provides a concise and comprehensive introduction to the history and meaning of sovereignty. Drawing on a wide range of examples – from the US Declaration of Independence to terrorist attacks of 9/11 – he shows how sovereignty operates in our daily lives and analyses the issues raised by its universality and centrality in the organization of the world. The book covers core topics such as the discourse of sovereignty, the global expansion of sovereignty, the rise of popular sovereignty, and the relationship between sovereignty and human rights. It concludes by examining future challenges facing sovereignty in an era of globalization.
This interdisciplinary study will be of interest to a wide range of students, academics and general readers who seek to understand this fundamental concept of the modern world.
Table of Contents
- Chapter 1 Sovereignty and Modernity
- Chapter 2 'A Shocking Idea'
- Chapter 3 Sovereigns of Europe and the World
- Chapter 4 Popular Sovereignty
- Chapter 5 Sovereignty and Humanity
- Chapter 6 Sovereignty and Globalization
“Sovereignty is the great survivor amongst modern political concepts. Its death has often been foretold. Yet it persists. 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, Professor of Political Science, Baylor University
“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