A European Republic of Sovereign States: Sovereignty, Republicanism and the EU
European Journal of Political Thought, Forthcoming
30 Pages Posted: 5 Jul 2016
Date Written: July 2, 2016
This article defends state sovereignty as necessary for a form of popular sovereignty capable of realising the republican value of non-domination, and argues it remains empirically achievable and normatively warranted in an inter-connected world. Many scholars, including certain republicans, contend that the external sovereignty of states can no longer be maintained or justified in such circumstances. Consequently, we must abandon the sovereignty of states and reconceive popular sovereignty on a different basis. Some argue sovereignty must be displaced upwards to a more global state, while others advocate it be vertically and horizontally dispersed to units below, across and above the state. Each group offers a related vision of the European Union (EU) to illustrate their proposals. Both these arguments are criticised as more likely to produce than reduce domination because neither can sustain a form of popular sovereignty capable of instantiating relations of non-domination. This article proposes the alternative of a republican association of sovereign states that allows sovereign states and their peoples to mutually regulate their external sovereignty in non-dominating ways. It offers a more plausible and defensible means for sustaining the requisite kind of popular sovereignty in contemporary conditions, and a more appropriate vision of the EU.
Keywords: Sovereignty, Republicanism, Non-Domination, Democracy, European Union
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