Variations on sovereignty: contestations and transformations from around the world

New York, NY: Routledge (2023)
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Abstract

This edited book explores diverse contestations and transformations of sovereignty around the world. Sovereignty plays a central role in modern political thought and practice, but it also remains fundamentally contested. Depending on the context and perspective, it seems either omnipresent or elusive, liberating or oppressive, fading or resilient. Indeed, if in recent decades sovereignty has been expected to wane, today it is back on the agenda; not as the solid bedrock of modern - international - politics, which it never was, but as variations on a concept and institution that are ever contested and, as a result, constantly transforming. Bringing together perspectives from various disciplines, including International Relations (IR), political theory, geography, law, and anthropology, this volume: - goes beyond debates over the resilience or decline of sovereignty to instead emphasize how precisely the inherent ambiguities, tensions, and contestations in scholarship and practice spark sovereignty's manifold transformations; - offers three theoretical chapters that examine the illusions, contradictions, transformation, and lasting appeal of sovereignty and the nation-state; - explores sovereignty from various disciplinary perspectives in 11 empirical chapters that highlight its role in different contexts around the world, from the European Union (EU) to the South China Sea, to Western Sahara and Palestine; - problematizes the interplay between theory and practice of statehood and sovereignty, as in the perception of Northern Cyprus as a 'fake state', scholars' promotion of Kurdish 'statehood' in Iraq, and studies affirming the 'Islamic State'. This book will be of much interest to students of statehood, sovereignty, conflict studies and International Relations.

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