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
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.
The Queen’s currency and imperial pedagogies on Australia’s south-eastern settler frontiers
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
This book takes the transatlantic conflict over the International Criminal Court (ICC) as the lens for an enquiry into the normative foundations of international society. It shows how the way in which actors refer to core norms of the international society, such as sovereignty and human rights, affect the process and outcome of international negotiations. The book offers an innovative take on the long-standing debate over sovereignty and human rights in international relations. It goes beyond the simple and sometimes ideological duality of sovereignty versus human rights by showing that they are not competing principles in international relations, as is often argued, but complement each other. The way in which the two norms and their relationship are understood lies at the core of actors' broader visions of world order. The book shows how competing interpretations of sovereignty and human rights and the different visions of world order that they imply fed into the transatlantic debate over the ICC and transformed this debate into a conflict over the normative foundations of international society.
The Weimar Republic in the eyes of American political science
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
’ War (1618–48) and the wars of
religion. Westphalia established the key principle of modern statehood:
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
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
across liberal and social democracies as the traditional parties of the left drifted ever further from their roots in nineteenth-century socialism and the popular workers’ movements. What is common to these theorists is the recognition that democracy rests on an irresolvable question about adequately representing ‘the people’. For these thinkers, the notion of popular sovereignty is at once the basis for and most challenging issue of modern democratic theory.
Democracy and disagreement
Jacques Rancière is an influential contemporary French philosopher whose
In 1661, Charles II received an impressive wedding present from the Portuguese crown upon his marriage to Catherine of Braganza: to hold ‘for ever’ all ‘the Port and Island of Bombay in the East Indies with all the Rights, Profits, Territories, and Appurtenances whatsoever thereunto belonging … As also the direct and absolute Dominion and Sovereignty of the said Port and Island’. 1 Along with the co-acquisition of the town of Tangier, the so-called ‘transfer’ of Bombay is both a well-known and little-regarded story of sorts, often understood either as a single
Brazil, who ‘desire no more
then what their natural necessities direct them … enter-call one
another brethren’, and hold all ‘goods in
Gonzalo’s prospectus for a community without sovereignty where
‘all things in common nature should produce / Without sweat or
endeavour’, is so heartlessly crushed by these mafiosi that it
has been easy to assume that when