Changing Faces of Sovereignty

  • Robert Jackson
Part of the Palgrave Macmillan History of International Thought Series book series (PMHIT)


Sovereignty is one of the foremost institutions of our world: it has given political life a distinctive constitutional shape that virtually defines the modern era and sets it apart from previous eras. As A.P. d’Entrèves puts it: “The importance of the doctrine of sovereignty can hardly be overrated. It was a formidable tool in the hands of lawyers and politicians, and a decisive factor in the making of modern Europe.”1 And not only Europe: in the past century or two, sovereignty has become a cornerstone of modern politics around the world. It was originally an institution of escape from rule by outsiders and to this day it remains a legal barrier to foreign interference in the jurisdiction of states. Basic norms of the UN Charter (Articles 2 and 51) enshrine the principle of equal sovereignty, the doctrine of nonintervention, and the inherent right of self-defense.


European Union International Relation Political Life Political Authority World Politics 
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© Robert Jackson 2005

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  • Robert Jackson

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