Theorising Sovereignty and Intervention
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Sovereignty is the foundational concept of modern international relations. In declaring that national governments are the supreme authorities within their geographical territories, sovereignty divides the globe into the principal actors and subjects of international politics, states. It demarcates the ‘domestic’ sphere from the ‘international’ and, by identifying and authorising its key agents, makes international politics thinkable and possible. The corollary norm of non-interference in states’ internal affairs also implies the exclusion of all rival authorities to the state. This creates the possibility of a state accountable to its own people, thereby enabling the practice of self-determination and democracy. Sovereignty is thus vitally important, both conceptually and politically, which is why it has attracted so much scholarly attention from many different disciplines.
KeywordsSocial Force Political Authority State Apparatus International Politics Sovereign State
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