Richard Lara
Freie Universität Berlin
The concept of sovereignty is a recurring and controversial theme in international law, and it has a long history in western philosophy. The traditionally favored concept of sovereignty proves problematic in the context of international law. International law’s own claims to sovereignty, which are premised on traditional concept of sovereignty, undermine individual nations’ claims to sovereignty. These problems are attributable to deep-seated flaws in the traditional concept of sovereignty. A viable alternative concept of sovereignty can be derived from key concepts in Friedrich Nietzsche’s views on human reason and epistemology. The essay begins by considering the problem of sovereignty from the ancient philosophical perspective inherent in the fundamental assumptions and ideas of Plato’s political philosophy and epistemology. It then considers the contemporary problem of sovereignty in the context of international law by examining Louis Henkin’s formulation of and approach to it in his essay That S-Word: Sovereignty, and Globalization, and Human Rights, Etc. Finally, the essay articulates Nietzsche’s views on intellectual conscience, discusses their merits and advantages when used in dealing the problem of sovereignty in the context of international law, and proposes a solution to this problem that draws on the philosophies of Nietzsche, Novalis, Kant and Plato. The essay illustrates the relevance and advantages of this solution by examining the issue of states’ reservations to international treaties and conventions.
Keywords Sovereignty  Kant  Nietzsche
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

About the Impossibility of Absolute State Sovereignty.Jorge Emilio Núñez - 2014 - International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue Internationale de Sémiotique Juridique 27 (4):645-664.
From Empire to Sovereignty—and Back?Jens Bartelson - 2014 - Ethics and International Affairs 28 (2):251-262.
Kurios George and the Sovereign State.Jeffrey Paris - 2004 - Radical Philosophy Review 7 (2):115-134.
Sovereignty as Autonomy.Raf Geenens - 2017 - Law and Philosophy 36 (5):495-524.
About the Impossibility of Absolute State Sovereignty: The Middle Ages.Jorge Emilio Núñez - 2015 - International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue Internationale de Sémiotique Juridique 28 (2):235-250.
The Relation Between Sovereignty and Guilt in Nietzsche's Genealogy.Gabriel Zamosc - 2012 - European Journal of Philosophy 20 (S1):E107-e142.


Added to PP index

Total downloads
670 ( #3,361 of 2,293,896 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
426 ( #547 of 2,293,896 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature