‘Mr Hinsley displays a rare mastery in weaving together the separate strands of the evolution of political ideas and of political organisation learned, stimulated, . Making sense of sovereignty. Ian Clark. Alan James, Sovereign Statehood: The Basis of International Society, London: Allen and Unwin, F. H. Hinsley. Sovereignty has 5 ratings and 1 review. Professor Hinsley’s book, first published in , offers a general survey of the history of the theory of sovere.

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History of Western Philosophy. Organized HypocrisyPrinceton: Historical variants can be understood along three ginsley — the holder of sovereignty, the absoluteness of sovereignty, and the internal and external dimensions of sovereignty.

Sovereignty – F. H. Hinsley – Google Books

Lists with This Book. Secretary General Kofi Annan. An explicit call to revise the concept of sovereignty so as to allow for internationally sanctioned intervention arose with The Responsibility to Protect, a document written and produced in by the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, a commission that the Government of Canada convened at the behest of U.

After all, scholars like Alan James argue that sovereignty can only be either present or absent, and cannot exist partially James—4. Paperbackpages. Feb 01, Melani Zerpa added it.

What features of Westphalia make it the origin of the sovereign states system? Ina system of sovereign states gained important ground in the Peace of Augsburg, whose formula cuius regio, eius religioallowed German princes to enforce their own faith within their territory.

The unity and universality and essential rightness of the sovereign territorial State, and the denial of every extra-territorial or independent communal form of life, are Luther’s lasting contribution to politics. World Poverty and Human Rights2nd. There are no discussion topics on this book yet.


As the sovereign states system became more generalized in ensuing decades, this proscription of intervention would become more generalized, too, evolving into a foundational norm of the international system. The Modern Library, Two examples are Thomas Poggeandand Allen Buchanan Shiner – – Philosophy in Review 7 9: Their thought is not entirely new, for even in early modern times, philosophers like Hugo Grotius, Alberico Gentili, and Francisco Suarez, though they accepted the state as a legitimate institution, thought that its authority ought to be limited, not absolute.

During the Middle Ages, manifold authorities held some sort of legal warrant for their authority, whether feudal, canonical, or otherwise, but very rarely did such warrant confer supremacy. But here, absoluteness refers not to the extent or character of sovereignty, which must always be supreme, but rather to the scope of matters over which a holder of authority is sovereign. Kantorowicz then describes the emergence, in the late Middle Ages, of the concept of the king’s two bodies, vivified in Shakespeare’s Richard II and applicable to the early modern body politic.


Bodin and Hobbes envisioned sovereignty as absolute, extending to all matters within the territory, unconditionally. They were not originators of the concept, for even during medieval times, philosophers like Dante and Marsilius of Padua advocated a separation of temporal and religious powers that would be achieved through a transfer of prerogatives into temporal ruler’s hands.

Though in early modern times, kings would hold this authority, later practitioners of it would include the people ruling through a constitution, nations, the Communist Party, dictators, juntas, and theocracies. Sign in to use this feature.

Matej Avbelj – – Ratio Juris 27 3: Any transfer of the authority of the body politic either to some part of itself or to some outside entity — the apparatus of the state, a monarch, or even the people — is illegitimate, for the validity of a government is rooted in its relationship to natural law. Whether the sovereign states system was consolidated at Westphalia, took full shape at a later time, or always remained heterodox, its basic form nevertheless spread worldwide over the next three centuries, culminating in the decline of the European colonial empires in the mid th century, when the state became the only form of polity ever to cover the entire land surface of sovereigty globe.

Whatever the sovereign body looked like, though, it was not subject to any external human law or authority within its territory. Kalmo, Hent, and Quentin Skinner, Third, the supreme socereignty of the sovereign state is contrary to the democratic notion of accountability. Refresh and try again. Giorgio Agamben and the Field of Sovereignty.

Professor Hinsley’s book, first published inoffers a general survey of the history of the theory of sovereignty, which seeks to illuminate the theory’s character and function by stressing the changing social, political and economic frameworks within and between the political societies in which it has developed.

The two most prominent curtailments are conventions on human rights and European integration. Sovereignty in Social and Political Philosophy.

French philosopher Jean Bodin was the first European philosopher to treat the concept extensively. To states, this recognition is what a no-trespassing law is to private property — a set of mutual understandings that give property, or the state, immunity from outside interference.


First, a holder of sovereignty possesses authority. The rise and global expansion of sovereignty, described and even lauded by political philosophers, amounts to one of the most formidable and successful political trends in modern times. Majdi Issa added it May 15, The history of sovereignty can be understood through two broad movements, manifested in both practical institutions and political thought.

Manifestly, he was not to be bound by natural law, canon law, Gospel precepts, or any of the norms or authorities that obligated members of Christendom. It is indeed a mark of the resilience and flexibility of the sovereign state that it has accommodated such diverse sorts of authority.

The concept continues to prevail as the presumption of political rule in states throughout the globe today, including ones where the sovereign body of law institutes limited government and civil rights for individuals. The English philosopher Thomas Hobbes also wrote during a time of civil war and also arrived at the notion of sovereignty as a solution.

Progress in this direction began to occur after the Cold War through a historic revision of the Peace of Westphalia, one that curtails a norm strongly advanced by its treaties — non-intervention. Man and the StateChicago: They are the ancestors of those who now demand limits on the state’s authority in the name of human rights, of the right to quell genocide and disaster and deliver relief from the sovereigmty, of an international criminal court, and of a supranational entity that assumes power of governance over economic, and now, maybe, military affairs.

The cruel prince, for instance, could be subject to a disciplining action from neighboring princes that is much like contemporary notions of humanitarian intervention. In a series of several episodes beginning inthe United Nations or another international organization has endorsed a political action, usually involving military force, that the broad consensus of states would have previously regarded as illegitimate interference in internal affairs.

Nolan is currently reading it Feb 13, The concept of sovereignty in international zovereignty most often connotes external sovereignty.