Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 15(2012) (peer reviewed)
Social liberals and liberal nationalists often argue that cosmopolitans neglect the normative importance of state sovereignty and self-determination. This paper counter-argues that, under current global political and socio-economic circumstances, only the establishment of supranational institutions with some (limited, but significant) sovereign powers can allow states to exercise sovereignty, and peoples’ self-determination, in a meaningful way. Social liberals have largely neglected this point because they have focused on an unduly narrow, mainly negative, conception of state sovereignty. I contend, instead, that we should more closely consider the positive aspects of sovereignty, understood as the capacity to maintain internal problem-solving capacities and make meaningful discretionary choices on a range of national issues.
political vs. distributive justice, negative vs. positive sovereignty, cosmopolitanism, background justice