Competing Sovereignties: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Competing Sovereignties

1st Edition

By Richard Joyce


296 pages

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Competing Sovereignties provides a critique of the concept of sovereignty in modernity in light of claims to determine the content of law at the international, national and local levels. In an argument that is illustrated through an analysis of debates over the control of intellectual property law in India, Richard Joyce considers how economic globalization and the claims of indigenous communities do not just challenge national sovereignty - as if national sovereignty is the only kind of sovereignty - but in fact invite us to challenge our conception of what sovereignty ‘is’. Combining theoretical research and reflection with an analysis of the legal, institutional and political context in which sovereignties 'compete', the book offers a reconception of modern sovereignty - and, with it, a new appreciation of the complex issues surrounding the relationship between international organisations, nation states and local and indigenous communities.


The work develops a detailed and convincing account of (post)modern sovereignty that will be of great interest to many, offering a sophisticated and innovative theoretical orientation for thinking in this area. By detaching sovereignty from the state, Joyce’s auto-positioned sovereignty offers ways of understanding how and why sovereign claims remain alluring, but ultimately impossible, at both a local and international level. - Daniel Matthews, Birkbeck Law School for Law, Culture and the Humanities, 2014

Richard Joyce’s Competing Sovereignties (CS) is a monograph whose argumentative eloquence and intellectual provocation has absolutely emerged as one of the foremost among the last generation of works on modern states sovereignty. - Elia R.G. Pusterla, London School of Economics and Political Science for Swiss Political Science Review (2014) Vol. 20(1)

Table of Contents

Introduction: The crisis of modern sovereignty; PART 1: POSITION; Chapter 1: Modern sovereignty and the nation state: a failure of grounds; Chapter 2:Autopositioning: the groundless ground of modern sovereignty; PART 2: RELATION; Chapter 3: The constitutive function of relation; Chapter 4: The relation of sovereigns at the national and international levels: India and the WTO; Chapter 5: The relation of sovereigns at the international, national and local levels; Conclusion

About the Author

Richard Joyce is based in the Faculty of Law at Monash University, Australia

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General
LAW / Conflict of Laws
LAW / Intellectual Property / General
LAW / International
LAW / Jurisprudence
POLITICAL SCIENCE / History & Theory
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Government / Judicial Branch