Chapter

Introduction

Jonathan Elmer

in On Lingering and Being Last

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780823229406
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823240982 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823229406.003.0001
Introduction

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Social theorist William Rasch titles his book Sovereignty and Its Discontents, and anthropologist Aihwa Ong worries about sovereignty's “mutations.” Political scientist Stephen D. Krasner uses the same phrase as Rasch to begin his exasperated introduction to what he calls the “organized hypocrisy” of sovereignty. His discontent with sovereignty is that we never seem to know what we are talking about when we use the term. According to Krasner, even the so-called Westphalian model, according to which sovereign states — originally the European absolutist states of the seventeenth century — tolerate and recognize each other internationally on the condition that each states' internal affairs are protected from outside intervention, is of dubious analytical use: “The most important empirical conclusion of the present study” he writes, “is that the principles associated with both Westphalian and international legal sovereignty have always been violated.”

Keywords: William Rasch; sovereignty; Stephen D. Krasner; Westphalian model; sovereign states

Chapter.  8258 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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