State Sovereignty and Stability: Conflicting and Converging Principles
International relations theory has traditionally sought to conceptualize state sovereignty as “supreme legitimate authority within a territory” (Philpott 1995, p. 357) and the international system as consisting of relations between functionally similar sovereign units (Waltz 2010). Although much criticized, the concept of sovereignty is still central to most thinking about international relations and particularly international law. The old Westphalian concept in the context of a nation-state’s monopoly rights to certain exercises of power with respect to its territory and citizens has been discredited in several ways, but it is still prized and harbored by those realists who wish to justifiably prevent foreign or international powers and authorities from interfering in the domestic decisions and activities of a state.
Historical Evolution of Sovereignty
Sovereignty has a theological foundation. Religious conflicts in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries forced the...
KeywordsWestphalian paradigm Globalization Human rights Failed states Quasi-states
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