Constructing Sovereignty between Politics and Law: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Constructing Sovereignty between Politics and Law

1st Edition

By Tanja E. Aalberts


216 pages

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This book explores the interplay between sovereignty, politics and law through different conceptualizations of sovereignty. Despite developments such as European integration, globalization, and state failure, sovereignty proves to be a resilient institution in contemporary international politics.

This book investigates both the continuity and change of sovereignty through an examination of the different ways it is understood; sovereignty as an institution, as identity; as a (language) game; and as subjectivity. In this illuminating book, Aalberts examines sovereign statehood as a political-legal concept, an institutional product of modern international society, and seeks an interdisciplinary approach that combines international relations and international law. This book traces the consequences of this origin for the conceptualization of sovereign statehood in modern academic discourse, drawing on key jurisprudence and international treaties, and provides a new framework to consider the international significance of sovereignty.

As an innovative approach to a critical institution, Constructing Sovereignty between Politics and Law will be of interest to students and scholars of international relations, international relations theory and international law.


'In the context of the ample literature devoted to the study of 'sovereignty' as one of the funamental concepts of international relations and international law, Tanja Aalberts' Constructing Sovereignty Between Politics and Law constitutes a very singular and welcome contribution.' Noe Cornago, European Political Science, March 2013

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. Narratives of origin and change 3. Sovereignty as institution 4. Sovereignty as identity 5. Sovereignty as a (language) game 6. Sovereignty as subjectivity 7. Conclusion

About the Author

Tanja E. Aalberts is Assistant Professor of International Relations at Leiden University, the Netherlands.

About the Series

New International Relations

The field of international relations has changed dramatically in recent years, with new subject matter being brought to light and new approaches from in and out of the social sciences being tried out. This series offers itself as a broad church for innovative work that aims to renew the discipline.


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