SOVEREIGNTY is the full right and power of a governing body over itself, without any interference from outside sources or bodies. In political theory, sovereignty is a substantive term designating supreme authority over some polity . It is a basic principle underlying the dominant Westphalian model of state foundation .
Millenia of relative Western isolation support preferences for the term derived from Latin (through French souveraineté), but features (that are also embodied under the Chinese term Tianxia ) entail certain conditions traditionally seen, whether East or West, as moral imperatives for attainment and retention of sovereign rights and powers.
* 1 Different approaches
* 2 History
* 2.1 Classical
* 2.2 Medieval
* 2.3 Reformation
Age of Enlightenment
* 3 Definition and types
* 3.1 Absoluteness * 3.2 Exclusivity
* 3.3 De jure and de facto
* 3.4 Internal
* 3.4.1 Modern internal sovereignty
* 3.5 External * 3.6 Shared and pooled * 3.7 Nation-states * 3.8 Federations
* 4 Acquisition * 5 Justifications * 6 Views * 7 Relation to rule of law * 8 See also * 9 References * 10 Further reading
The concepts of sovereignty have been discussed throughout history, and are still actively debated. Its definition, concept, and application has changed throughout, especially during the Age of Enlightenment . The current notion of state sovereignty contains four aspects consisting of territory, population, authority and recognition. According to Stephen D. Krasner , the term could also be understood in four different ways:
* domestic sovereignty – actual control over a state exercised by an authority organized within this state, * interdependence sovereignty – actual control of movement across state's borders, assuming the borders exist, * international legal sovereignty – formal recognition by other sovereign states, * Westphalian sovereignty – lack of other authority over state other than the domestic authority (examples of such other authorities could be a non-domestic church, a non-domestic political organization, or any other external agent).
Often, these four aspects all appear together, but this is not
necessarily the case – they are not affected by one another, and
there are historical examples of states that were non-sovereign in one
aspect while at the same time being sovereign in another of these
aspects. According to
Immanuel Wallerstein , another fundamental
feature of sovereignty is that it is a claim that must be recognised
by others if it is to have any meaning: "
The Roman jurist Ulpian observed that:
* The imperium of the people is transferred to the Emperor . * The Emperor is not bound by the law. * The Emperor's word is law. Emperor is the law making and abiding force.
Ulpian was expressing the idea that the Emperor exercised a rather absolute form of sovereignty, although he did not use the term expressly.
Classical Ulpian's statements were known in medieval Europe , but sovereignty was an important concept in medieval times. Medieval monarchs were not sovereign, at least not strongly so, because they were constrained by, and shared power with, their feudal aristocracy . Furthermore, both were strongly constrained by custom.
A later English
We desire most from men,
From men both lund and poor, To have sovereignty without lies. For where we have sovereignty, all is ours, Though a knight be ever so fierce, And ever win mastery. It is our desire to have master Over such a sir. Such is our purpose. — The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnell (c. 1450),
However, although he is often connected with absolutism , Bodin held some moderate opinions on how government should in practice be carried out. He held that although the sovereign is not obliged to, it is advisable for him, as a practical expedient, to convene a senate from whom he can obtain advice, to delegate some power to magistrates for the practical administration of the law, and to use the Estates as a means of communicating with the people. Furthermore, he emphasized that a sovereign is bound to observe certain basic rules derived from the divine law, the law of nature or reason, and the law that is common to all nations (jus gentium), as well as the fundamental laws of the state that determine who is the sovereign, who succeeds to sovereignty, and what limits the sovereign power. Thus, Bodin’s sovereign was restricted by the constitutional law of the state and by the higher law that was considered as binding upon every human being. Bodin believed that “the most divine, most excellent, and the state form most proper to royalty is governed partly aristocratically and partly democratically”. With his doctrine that sovereignty is conferred by divine law, Bodin predefined the scope of the divine right of kings .
AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT
During the Age of Enlightenment, the idea of sovereignty gained both
legal and moral force as the main Western description of the meaning
and power of a State. In particular, the "
* Absolute: because conditions could only be imposed on a sovereign if there were some outside arbitrator to determine when he had violated them, in which case the sovereign would not be the final authority. * Indivisible: The sovereign is the only final authority in his territory; he does not share final authority with any other entity. Hobbes held this to be true because otherwise there would be no way of resolving a disagreement between the multiple authorities.
Hobbes' hypothesis—that the ruler's sovereignty is contracted to him by the people in return for his maintaining their physical safety—led him to conclude that if and when the ruler fails, the people recover their ability to protect themselves by forming a new contract.
Hobbes's theories decisively shape the concept of sovereignty through
the medium of social contract theories.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau 's
(1712–1778) definition of popular sovereignty (with early
Francisco Suárez 's theory of the origin of power),
provides that the people are the legitimate sovereign. Rousseau
considered sovereignty to be inalienable; he condemned the distinction
between the origin and the exercise of sovereignty, a distinction upon
which constitutional monarchy or representative democracy is founded.
The second book of Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Du Contrat Social, ou Principes du droit politique (1762) deals with sovereignty and its rights. Sovereignty, or the general will, is inalienable, for the will cannot be transmitted; it is indivisible, since it is essentially general; it is infallible and always right, determined and limited in its power by the common interest; it acts through laws. Law is the decision of the general will in regard to some object of common interest, but though the general will is always right and desires only good, its judgment is not always enlightened, and consequently does not always see wherein the common good lies; hence the necessity of the legislator. But the legislator has, of himself, no authority; he is only a guide who drafts and proposes laws, but the people alone (that is, the sovereign or general will) has authority to make and impose them.
Rousseau, in his 1763 treatise Of the Social Contract argued, "the growth of the State giving the trustees of public authority more and means to abuse their power, the more the Government has to have force to contain the people, the more force the Sovereign should have in turn in order to contain the Government," with the understanding that the Sovereign is "a collective being of wonder" (Book II, Chapter I) resulting from "the general will" of the people, and that "what any man, whoever he may be, orders on his own, is not a law" (Book II, Chapter VI) – and furthermore predicated on the assumption that the people have an unbiased means by which to ascertain the general will. Thus the legal maxim, "there is no law without a sovereign."
DEFINITION AND TYPES
There exists perhaps no conception the meaning of which is more controversial than that of sovereignty. It is an indisputable fact that this conception, from the moment when it was introduced into political science until the present day, has never had a meaning which was universally agreed upon. Lassa Oppenheim (30-03-1858 – 07-10-1919), an authority on international law
An important factor of sovereignty is its degree of absoluteness . A sovereign power has absolute sovereignty when it is not restricted by a constitution, by the laws of its predecessors, or by custom , and no areas of law or policy are reserved as being outside its control. International law ; policies and actions of neighboring states; cooperation and respect of the populace; means of enforcement; and resources to enact policy are factors that might limit sovereignty. For example, parents are not guaranteed the right to decide some matters in the upbringing of their children independent of societal regulation, and municipalities do not have unlimited jurisdiction in local matters, thus neither parents nor municipalities have absolute sovereignty. Theorists have diverged over the desirability of increased absoluteness.
A key element of sovereignty in a legalistic sense is that of exclusivity of jurisdiction . Specifically, the degree to which decisions made by a sovereign entity might be contradicted by another authority. Along these lines, the German sociologist Max Weber proposed that sovereignty is a community's monopoly on the legitimate use of force; and thus any group claiming the same right must either be brought under the yoke of the sovereign, proven illegitimate, or otherwise contested and defeated for sovereignty to be genuine. International law, competing branches of government, and authorities reserved for subordinate entities (such as federated states or republics) represent legal infringements on exclusivity. Social institutions such as religious bodies, corporations, and competing political parties might represent de facto infringements on exclusivity.
DE JURE AND DE FACTO
De jure , or legal, sovereignty concerns the expressed and institutionally recognised right to exercise control over a territory. De facto , or actual, sovereignty is concerned with whether control in fact exists. Cooperation and respect of the populace; control of resources in, or moved into, an area; means of enforcement and security; and ability to carry out various functions of state all represent measures of de facto sovereignty. When control is practiced predominantly by military or police force it is considered coercive sovereignty.
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State sovereignty is sometimes viewed synonymously with independence
, however, sovereignty can be transferred as a legal right whereas
independence cannot. A state can achieve de facto independence long
after acquiring sovereignty, such as in the case of Cambodia, Laos and
Vietnam. Additionally, independence can also be suspended when an
entire region becomes subject to an occupation such as when
At the opposite end of the scale, there is no dispute regarding the
self-governance of certain self-proclaimed states such as
Internal sovereignty is the relationship between a sovereign power and its own subjects. A central concern is legitimacy : by what right does a government exercise authority? Claims of legitimacy might refer to the divine right of kings or to a social contract (i.e. popular sovereignty ).
This argument between who should hold the authority within a
sovereign state is called the traditional doctrine of public
sovereignty. This discussion is between an internal sovereign or an
authority of public sovereignty. An internal sovereign is a political
body that possesses ultimate, final and independent authority; one
whose decisions are binding upon all citizens, groups and institutions
in society. Early thinkers believe sovereignty should be vested in the
hands of a single person, a monarch. They believed the overriding
merit of vesting sovereignty in a single individual was that
sovereignty would therefore be indivisible; it would be expressed in a
single voice that could claim final authority. An example of an
internal sovereign or monarch is Louis XIV of
Modern Internal Sovereignty
Within the modern governmental system, internal sovereignty is usually found in states that have public sovereignty and rarely found within a state controlled by an internal sovereign. A form of government that is a little different from both is the UK parliament system. From 1790 to 1859 it was argued that sovereignty in the UK was vested neither in the Crown nor in the people but in the "Monarch in Parliament". This is the origin of the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty and is usually seen as the fundamental principle of the British constitution. With these principles of parliamentary sovereignty majority control can gain access to unlimited constitutional authority, creating what has been called "elective dictatorship" or "modern autocracy". Public sovereignty in modern governments is a lot more common with examples like the USA, Canada, Australia and India where government is divided into different levels.
External sovereignty concerns the relationship between a sovereign
power and other states. For example, the
External sovereignty is connected with questions of international law – such as: when, if ever, is intervention by one country into another's territory permissible?
Following the Thirty Years\' War , a European religious conflict that embroiled much of the continent, the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 established the notion of territorial sovereignty as a norm of noninterference in the affairs of other nations , so-called Westphalian sovereignty , even though the actual treaty itself reaffirmed the multiple levels of sovereignty of the Holy Roman Empire. This resulted as a natural extension of the older principle of cuius regio, eius religio (Whose realm, his religion), leaving the Roman Catholic Church with little ability to interfere with the internal affairs of many European states. It is a myth, however, that the Treaties of Westphalia created a new European order of equal sovereign states.
In international law , sovereignty means that a government possesses
full control over affairs within a territorial or geographical area or
limit. Determining whether a specific entity is sovereign is not an
exact science, but often a matter of diplomatic dispute. There is
usually an expectation that both de jure and de facto sovereignty rest
in the same organisation at the place and time of concern. Foreign
governments use varied criteria and political considerations when
deciding whether or not to recognise the sovereignty of a state over a
territory. Membership in the
The governments-in-exile of many European states (for instance,
Norway, Netherlands or
The International Committee of the Red Cross is commonly mistaken to be sovereign. It has been granted various degrees of special privileges and legal immunities in many countries, that in cases like Switzerland are considerable, The Committee is a private organisation governed by Swiss law.
SHARED AND POOLED
Just as the office of head of state can be vested jointly in several persons within a state, the sovereign jurisdiction over a single political territory can be shared jointly by two or more consenting powers, notably in the form of a condominium .
Likewise the member states of international organizations may voluntarily bind themselves by treaty to a supranational organization, such as a continental union . In the case of the European Union members states this is called "pooled sovereignty" .
Another example of shared and pooled sovereignty is the Acts of Union
1707 which created the unitary state now known as the
A community of people who claim the right of self-determination based on a common ethnicity, history and culture might seek to establish sovereignty over a region, thus creating a nation-state . Such nations are sometimes recognised as autonomous areas rather than as fully sovereign, independent states.
In a federal system of government , sovereignty also refers to powers which a constituent state or republic possesses independently of the national government. In a confederation constituent entities retain the right to withdraw from the national body, but in a federation member states or republics do not hold that right.
Different interpretations of state sovereignty in the United States
of America , as it related to the expansion of slavery and fugitive
slave laws , led to the outbreak of the
American Civil War
Main article: Acquisition of sovereignty
A number of modes of acquisition of sovereignty are presently or have historically been recognised by international law as lawful methods by which a state may acquire sovereignty over territory. The classification of these modes originally derived from Roman property law and from the 15th and 16th century with the development of international law. The modes are:
* CESSION is the transfer of territory from one state to another usually by means of treaty; * OCCUPATION is the acquisition of territory that belongs to no state, or terra nullius ; * PRESCRIPTION is the effective control of territory of another acquiescing state; * OPERATIONS OF NATURE is the acquisition of territory through natural processes like river accretion or volcanism; * CREATION is the process by which new land is reclaimed from the sea such as in the Netherlands. * ADJUDICATION and * CONQUEST
national airspace territorial waters airspace contiguous zone airspace international airspace
land territory surface internal waters surface territorial waters surface contiguous zone surface Exclusive Economic Zone surface international waters surface
internal waters territorial waters Exclusive economic zone international waters
land territory underground
international seabed surface
full national jurisdiction and sovereignty restrictions on national jurisdiction and sovereignty international jurisdiction per common heritage of mankind
There exist vastly differing views on the moral basis of sovereignty. A fundamental polarity is between theories that assert that sovereignty is vested directly in the sovereign by divine or natural right and theories that assert it originates from the people. In the latter case there is a further division into those that assert that the people transfer their sovereignty to the sovereign (Hobbes), and those that assert that the people retain their sovereignty (Rousseau).
During the brief period of absolute monarchies in Europe, the divine right of kings was an important competing justification for the exercise of sovereignty. The Mandate of Heaven had some similar implications in China.
A republic is a form of government in which the people, or some significant portion of them, retain sovereignty over the government and where offices of state are not granted through heritage. A common modern definition of a republic is a government having a head of state who is not a monarch.
Parliamentary sovereignty refers to a representative democracy where the parliament is ultimately sovereign and not the executive power nor the judiciary.
* Classical liberals such as Stuart Mill consider every individual
as sovereign on oneself.
* Realists view sovereignty as being untouchable and as guaranteed
to legitimate nation-states.
* Rationalists see sovereignty similarly to realists. However,
rationalism states that the sovereignty of a nation-state may be
violated in extreme circumstances, such as human rights abuses.
* Internationalists believe that sovereignty is outdated and an
unnecessary obstacle to achieving peace, in line with their belief of
a 'global community'. In the light of the abuse of power by sovereign
states such as Hitler's
* Anarchists and some libertarians deny the sovereignty of states
and governments. Anarchists often argue for a specific individual kind
of sovereignty, such as the Anarch as a sovereign individual .
Salvador Dalí , for instance, talked of "anarcho-monarchist" (as
usual for him, tongue in cheek);
According to Matteo Laruffa "sovereignty resides in every public action and policy as the exercise of executive powers by institutions open to the participation of citizens to the decision-making processes"
RELATION TO RULE OF LAW
Another topic is whether the law is held to be sovereign , that is, whether it is above political or other interference. Sovereign law constitutes a true state of law, meaning the letter of the law (if constitutionally correct) is applicable and enforceable, even when against the political will of the nation, as long as not formally changed following the constitutional procedure. Strictly speaking, any deviation from this principle constitutes a revolution or a coup d'état, regardless of the intentions.
* Philosophy portal
Look up SOVEREIGNTY in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public
domain : Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "article name needed ".
* ^ A B C D E "sovereignty (politics)".
* ^ By formal agreement between the Swiss government and the ICRC,
Switzerland grants full sanctity of all ICRC property in Switzerland
including its headquarters and archive, grants members and staff legal
immunity, exempts the ICRC from all taxes and fees, guarantees the
protected and duty-free transfer of goods, services, and money,
provides the ICRC with secure communication privileges at the same
level as foreign embassies, and simplifies Committee travel in and out
On the other hand Switzerland does not recognize ICRC issued
passports Archived 10 May 2011 at the
* Benton, Lauren (2010). A Search for Sovereignty: Law and Geography in European Empires, 1400–1900. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-88105-0 . * Philpott, Dan. "Sovereignty". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
* Prokhovnik, Raia (2007). Sovereignties: contemporary theory and practice. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire New York, N.Y: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9781403913234 . * Prokhovnik, Raia (2008). Sovereignty: history and theory. Exeter, UK Charlottesville, VA: Imprint Academic. ISBN 9781845401412 . * Thomson, Janice E. (1996). Mercenaries, pirates, and sovereigns: state-building and extraterritorial violence in early modern Europe. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-02571-1 .
* LCCN : sh85125696 * GND : 4132367-1 * HDS : 26456 * NDL