Islamic Sovereignty Norms and Peaceful Settlement of Territorial Disputes

iCourts Working Paper Series No. 47

38 Pages Posted: 8 Mar 2016 Last revised: 12 Apr 2017

See all articles by Emilia Justyna Powell

Emilia Justyna Powell

University of Notre Dame

Steven McDowell

University of Notre Dame, College of Arts & Letters, Department of Political Science, Students

Date Written: March 8, 2016

Abstract

The notion of state sovereignty is the foundation upon which the modern international system rests. Yet it is a mistake to regard sovereignty as a unitary, global concept: multiple sovereignties exist, particularly among Islamic law states (ILS). Sovereignty in the Islamic legal tradition takes the form of a divine trust bestowed upon the state and rests on personalistic, not territorial, relationships. Some modern ILS adhere to this Islamic notion of sovereignty, and we contend that such ILS find compromise difficult in territorial disputes because they attach divine sanctions to the authority of the state over territory. Using newly collected data from the constitutions of all ILS, 1945-2012, we demonstrate that this is, indeed, the case: ILS with constitutional provisions for Islamic sovereignty are less likely to resolve their territorial disputes peacefully or propose peaceful settlement than ILS that embrace secular, Western notions of territorial sovereignty.

Suggested Citation

Powell, Emilia J. and McDowell, Steven, Islamic Sovereignty Norms and Peaceful Settlement of Territorial Disputes (March 8, 2016). iCourts Working Paper Series No. 47. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2744651 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2744651

Emilia J. Powell (Contact Author)

University of Notre Dame ( email )

217 O'Shaugnessy Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556-5646
United States

Steven McDowell

University of Notre Dame, College of Arts & Letters, Department of Political Science, Students ( email )

217 O'Shaughnessy Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
74
rank
306,277
Abstract Views
454
PlumX Metrics