Sovereignty in Context

  • Antonia M. Waltermann
Part of the Law and Philosophy Library book series (LAPS, volume 132)


I have developed the two conceptions of sovereignty. In this chapter, I apply the conceptions of constitutive and constituted sovereignty to current questions and issues that involve the notion of sovereignty. My aim in doing so is to show that the insights developed in the previous chapters of the book can shed light on more practical issues. To do so, I consider first the case of secessionist movements in Scotland, Catalonia and Quebec to see what help constitutive and constituted sovereignty can be in this context. Second, I analyse the relationship between the European Union and its Member States; third, I consider the question whether there can be religious states, that is, states which are constituted not by the people but by a religious entity; fourth, I consider the (perceived) tension between state sovereignty and humanitarian intervention, and lastly, what the relationship between sovereignty and recognition in international law is. These topics have been the subject of a considerable amount of academic debate and literature. The purpose of this chapter is not to cover that body of literature, but rather to provide a starting point for future debates and a visualisation of how the theory of different concepts of sovereignty developed in this book can be applied to current discourse. This also means that this chapter does not seek to provide definite answers or end the on-going discussions on these topics; instead, it seeks to rephrase the discussions in a conceptually clearer light. Nevertheless, conclusions will be drawn where possible.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antonia M. Waltermann
    • 1
  1. 1.Foundations and Methods of Law, Faculty of LawMaastricht UniversityMaastrichtThe Netherlands

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