"Two Conceptions of State Sovereignty and their Implications for Global Institutional Design".

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

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