European Journal of Political Theory:147488512199203 (forthcoming)

Why should we have a system of different states that each claim both internal and external sovereignty? How can the state gain its legitimate authority to rule? What is the problem with the ideal of the ‘global citizen’? How should states respond to different groups’ secession claims? To what extent should states have the right to control their borders? If one finds such questions intriguing, one should read Anna Stilz’s book Territorial Sovereignty: A Philosophical Exploration. Stilz argues that a system of territorial states serves to protect important values – occupancy, basic justice and collective self-determination – which are key to living an autonomous life. I focus on the theory’s implication for the debates on border control. I contend that Stilz’s arguments still have difficulties grounding the state’s right to exclude would-be immigrants. That said, the book has done a great job in providing a liberal theoretical framework for us to reflect upon citizenship, immigration, succession claims, cosmopolitan ideals, the colonial legacy and disputes over borders and resources.
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DOI 10.1177/1474885121992033
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