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Robert Lister Nicholls

During the course of Britain's relationship with Europe, the concept of sovereignty has been raised as an issue by the political elite of both major political parties. Whilst it is suggested that this malleable concept was used in a rhetorical rather than in a precise manner, there remains a need to determine whether there is a consensus on the definition of sovereignty, particularly in respect of Britain and Europe. The concept of sovereignty is examined from a British historical perspective and specifies the diversity of existing

in The British political elite and Europe, 1959–1984
The Queen’s currency and imperial pedagogies on Australia’s south-eastern settler frontiers
Penelope Edmonds

assay the currency of Queen Victoria, the British sovereign, among Kulin Aboriginal peoples. 4 In this frontier encounter, seemingly quotidian yet compelling enough for Adeney to record in his diary, is revealed an intriguing sovereignty performance. In a scene rendered as a theatrical vignette, Adeney showed the coin and tested the small Aboriginal group when he asked if they

in Mistress of everything
Terje Rasmussen

social bond of the union. On the other hand, a legal-positivist ‘pure’ system of law separated from the state, morality and solidarity has proven imperative to legitimate law beyond the nation-state. I have addressed the tension between the nation-state and the international preference for human rights. This final chapter continues to address the connection between nation-state historical ontologies and the EU, asking if it is at all possible for a European state to pursue democracy, self-determination and regional sovereignty at the same time

in The sociology of sovereignty
Thibault Moulin

Sovereignty is a fundamental principle of international law. It was defined by Max Huber in the Las Palmas arbitral award as follows: ‘[s]overeignty in the relations between States signifies independence […] Independence in regard to a portion of the globe is the right to exercise therein, to the exclusion of any other State, the functions

in Cyber-espionage in international law

This book explores the concept of sovereignty through an analysis of superhero comics. Sovereignty is traditionally understood to be the legitimate monopoly on the use of force in a given territory. It is therefore a complex mix of authority, strength, law and violence, which are all used to a secure a physical and existential identity for a defined community. Another defining trait of the sovereign is the capacity to suspend the law and declare a state of emergency. Given that superheroes are themselves composites of authority, law and violence, while also being exceptional figures operating in a seemingly extra-legal space, they are perfect for working through the problems associated with the concept of sovereignty. However, rather than use superhero comics to simply illustrate the problems associated with sovereignty, the book argues that superhero comics—using a range of stories and characters from the Marvel and DC universes—explicitly engage with the themes in a critically reflexive and politically progressive way undermining the charge that they are simply conservative defenders of the status quo or dumb vigilantes. The book also argues that at the heart of superhero universes is a fundamental intuition about the contradictory nature of sovereignty, that it is at once both absolutely powerful and absolutely nihilating. The book claims that this intuition should inform our theories of what sovereignty means.

Politics, social transformations and conceptual change

The book addresses the concept of sovereignty as a sociological topic. It examines sovereignty as a fundamental and contested concept at the heart of European politics and constitutionalism since early modern times. The history of the concept of sovereignty is a tale of absolute power, and over the years it has referred to God, the king, the people, the nation and the state. It has constantly been at the centre of controversy, revolution and war. Just as central here, in its various versions it has served as a response to incessant paradoxes of power. With an emphasis on the sociology of Max Weber and Niklas Luhmann, The sociology of sovereignty addresses intellectual understandings of the concept since Jean Bodin, and it examines dilemmas of sovereignty in the wake of state expansion, human rights and federalism. A presumption of the book is that, on the one hand, popular sovereignty in European states exists independently of political, military and federalist manoeuvres. On the other hand, it is argued that the concept performs as a semantic formula to handle unavoidable paradoxes of democracy and power. The book marks a significant contribution to the scholarly debate on constitutional democracy and its problems.

The Weimar Republic in the eyes of American political science
Paul Petzschmann

started arriving in the 1930s, America was hardly a blank slate as far as Germany was concerned. The new arrivals had to contend with existing perceptions of German political thought and institutions. This chapter will explore the lively interest American political science showed in the Weimar Republic and its Constitution. Perceptions and commentary on Weimar were framed in terms of historical continuity, comparison with the post-bellum US and larger questions about the nature of sovereignty during the interwar period. Positive American views of Germany, as explored

in Prussians, Nazis and Peaceniks
Kevin Harrison
Tony Boyd

’ War (1618–48) and the wars of religion. Westphalia established the key principle of modern statehood: sovereignty . sovereignty The distinguishing characteristic of the state. Sovereignty is the right to have absolute and unlimited power, either legal or political, within the territory of a state. After around 1500, European expansion

in Understanding political ideas and movements
Neal Curtis

7 Sovereignty at the limit Having addressed how sovereignty seeks to secure an identity by policing its kinship structure, in this chapter I would like to return to the spectre that haunts sovereignty, and has done so in this study since the opening chapter, namely the ‘nothingness’ out of which Carl Schmitt (2005: 32) claimed the sovereign’s legitimacy arises. Although Schmitt tried to fill this void with the divine presence of God, the Father, this only masked the fact that something limitless and potentially abyssal lies at the foundation of sovereignty

in Sovereignty and superheroes
Sociological methodologies
Terje Rasmussen

. This chapter addresses research strategies concerning constitutional debate. For a theme so wedded to centuries of philosophy and law, it is central to highlight not only its sociological non-normativity and thematic delimitations, but also its grounding in empirical analysis. Pertinent here is that to understand political society, it is necessary to account for concepts like sovereignty, representation and rights that in their instantiation legitimise and provide meaning to society over time. It is a well-known insight, from Tocqueville to Lefort, Skinner and

in The sociology of sovereignty