Sovereignty Through the Inter-Disciplinary Kaleidoscope
84 Nordic Journal of International Law, pp. 130-152, 2015, Forthcoming
16 Pages Posted: 11 Jan 2015
Date Written: January 10, 2015
In the beginning was state sovereignty, or so the oft-quoted statement by the International Court of Justice according to which “state sovereignty” is “the fundamental principle (...) on which the whole of international law rests” appears to indicate. There is a remarkable circularity at play between this now classic statement of the principal judicial organ of the United Nations and the fact that Western international lawyers often use the etiological myth (of Westphalia to retrace the very origins of their discipline to the emergence of the concept of state sovereignty itself. It comes, thus, as no wonder that in the early stages of the 21st century, when international law is portrayed in leading textbooks, as “an ubiquitous presence in global policy-making and in academic and journalistic commentary”, international lawyers continue to speculate about the locus classicus of their discipline. Indeed, sovereignty is one of the two core themes that J. Trachtman The Future of International Law. Global Government and H.Kalmo and Q.Skinner’s edited collection Sovereignty in Fragments have in common. The second core-theme that both books share is inter-disciplinarity. This appears, in both books, as the kaleidoscope through which “the past, present and future of a contested concept” is examined.
Keywords: sovereignty; interdisciplinarity; international law; Westphalian paradigm
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