A Solution to the Crimean Crisis: Russia, Ukraine, and Crimea Through the Lenses of the Egalitarian Shared Sovereignty

33 Pages Posted: 25 Nov 2014

Date Written: November 24, 2014


While it is true that there is a crisis in the Crimean peninsula, and tension is evident between Russia and Ukraine, there is also a fair share of rhetorical argumentation adding unnecessary considerations within legal and political sciences that do not seem to offer any tangible way out. Given that the Crimean crisis is but one of many other sovereignty conflicts currently existent around the world, why not thinking of this particular dispute as an example towards peaceful multilateral understanding through multilateral dialogue and negotiations?

We are used to seeing and accepting as fact that in one territory there is one population governed by an ultimate authority, with a common legal bond or system of norms. What would happen if that one territory and population had two ultimate and hierarchically equal sovereigns (legally speaking) and, at the same time, two valid sets of norms? Would it be possible, for instance, that Israel and Palestine had sovereign authority at the same time over Jerusalem? Would it be possible that Argentina and the United Kingdom were at one time sovereign over the territory and population of the Falkland/Malvinas Islands? What about Russia and Ukraine having the same degree of sovereign power over Crimea? If the answer was positive, what would the consequences be — in terms of territory, population, government and law?

I propose to see these conflicts from a different yet broad perspective rather than as conflicts between separate and independent rights. Therefore, I view the problem as a distributive justice issue following the work of Rawls. This article aims to explore if a solution that certainly is desirable can also be possible and may offer a peaceful way of solving sovereignty conflicts through the use of principles of distributive justice.

Keywords: State sovereignty, Absolute Sovereignty, Shared Sovereignty, Egalitarian Shared Sovereignty, Distributive Justice, Crimea, Ukraine, Falklands, Gibraltar, Jerusalem, Sovereignty conflicts

JEL Classification: K00, K33, N40

Suggested Citation

Nunez, Jorge, A Solution to the Crimean Crisis: Russia, Ukraine, and Crimea Through the Lenses of the Egalitarian Shared Sovereignty (November 24, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2529936 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2529936

Jorge Nunez (Contact Author)

Manchester Law School ( email )

Burslem Building, South All Saints Campus
Lower Ormond Street
Manchester, Lancashire M15 6HB
United Kingdom

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