A Genealogy of Sovereignty by Jens Bartelson

By Jens Bartelson

The concept that of sovereignty is vital to diplomacy idea and theories of the country and gives the basis of the normal separation of recent politics into household and foreign spheres. during this publication Jens Bartelson offers a serious research and conceptual heritage of sovereignty, facing philosophical and political texts in the course of 3 sessions: the Renaissance, the Classical Age, and Modernity. He argues that sovereignty will be considered as an idea contingent upon, instead of basic to, political technological know-how and its heritage.

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It becomes more clearly perceptible, when a territorial association is attacked by an external enemy in its traditional domain, and arms are taken up by the members in the manner of a home guard. 84 These themes are repeated by modern macrosociologists. If the state was formed out of a prior state of conflict and war, subsequent state consolidation is also explained with explicit or implicit reference to this anarchy or order void, and with its concomitant sublimation to the international level; bringing the state back in means carving this anarchy out as a given and irreducible structural context, which in some guise or another is present from the alleged historical origin of the state onwards.

In international political theory, this means that whenever sovereignty is used in a theoretical context to confer unity upon the state as an acting subject, all that it conveys is that this entity is an individual by virtue of its indivisibility, which is tautological indeed. What follows from this search for the locus of sovereignty in international political theory, however necessary to its empirical testability, is thus nothing more than a logical sideshow; the essential step towards unity is already taken whenever sovereignty figures in the definition of a political order.

What follows from this search for the locus of sovereignty in international political theory, however necessary to its empirical testability, is thus nothing more than a logical sideshow; the essential step towards unity is already taken whenever sovereignty figures in the definition of a political order. Whether thought to be upheld by an individual or a collective, or embodied in the state as a whole, sovereignty entails self-presence and self-sufficiency; that which is sovereign is immediately given to itself, conscious of itself and thus acting for itself.

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