Variations on Sovereignty : Contestations and Transformations from around the World book cover
1st Edition

Variations on Sovereignty
Contestations and Transformations from around the World

  • Available for pre-order on April 5, 2023. Item will ship after April 26, 2023
ISBN 9781032262796
April 26, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
344 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $170.00

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

This edited book explores diverse contestations and transformations of sovereignty around the world.

Sovereignty plays a central role in modern political thought and practice, but it also remains fundamentally contested. Depending on the context and perspective, it seems either omnipresent or elusive, liberating or oppressive, fading or resilient. Indeed, if in recent decades sovereignty has been expected to wane, today it is back on the agenda; not as the solid bedrock of modern – international – politics, which it never was, but as variations on a concept and institution that are ever contested and, as a result, constantly transforming.

Bringing together perspectives from various disciplines, including International Relations (IR), political theory, geography, law, and anthropology, this volume:

• goes beyond debates over the resilience or decline of sovereignty to instead emphasize how precisely the inherent ambiguities, tensions, and contestations in scholarship and practice spark sovereignty’s manifold transformations;

• offers three theoretical chapters that examine the illusions, contradictions, transformation, and lasting appeal of sovereignty and the nation-state;

• explores sovereignty from various disciplinary perspectives in 11 empirical chapters that highlight its role in different contexts around the world, from the European Union (EU) to the South China Sea, to Western Sahara and Palestine;

• problematizes the interplay between theory and practice of statehood and sovereignty, as in the perception of Northern Cyprus as a ‘fake state’, scholars’ promotion of Kurdish ‘statehood’ in Iraq, and studies affirming the ‘Islamic State’.

This book will be of much interest to students of statehood, sovereignty, conflict studies and International Relations.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Variations on Sovereignty

Janis Grzybowski and Hannes Černy

Part I: Theorizing Sovereignty in (I)nternational (R)elations

1. The Making and Remaking of State Sovereignty in IR Theory: From Fantasy to Nightmare

Moran Mandelbaum

2. States of Sovereignty and the Making of the World of our Making

Zoran Oklopcic

3. Ontological Security and the Emotional Significance of Sovereignty

Nina C. Krickel-Choi

Part II: Suspensions: State Sovereignty Claimed and Questioned

4. The Aporetic State: On De Facto Paradoxes and Sovereign Agency

Rebecca Bryant

5. How the Iraqi Kurdistan Independence Debate Came to Die: Western IR Scholars as Co-Protagonists of the Nationalist Conflicts They Set Out to Describe

Hannes Černy

6. "Was the ‘Islamic State’ a State?" Claiming, Contesting, and Creating Jihadist Statehood

Maj Grasten and Janis Grzybowski

Part III: Staging Sovereignty: Performances at the Boundaries of the State

7. Practicing and Performing Sovereignty Abroad: Alternative Diplomacy

Giulia Prelz Oltramonti

8. Spectacular Fishing: Embodying Sovereignty in the Post-Brexit Channel Islands and the South China Sea

Edyta Roszko

9. Self-Determination Denied and Contested: Palestine and Western Sahara

Randa Farah

Part IV: Expanding and Re-imagining Sovereignty: Imperial and Supranational Entanglements

10. EU Citizenship as Catalyst for New Sovereignty Practices

Sandra Mantu

11. Open Pit of Ontological (In)security: Poland’s Territorial Sovereignism and the Turów Lignite Mine Quagmire

Dominik Sipinski

12. Russia and Ukraine: Conflicting Time Perspectives in Recognition Policies and the Use of Force

Bruno Coppieters

Part V: Sovereignties Beyond the State

13. "Doing Sovereignty": Sardinian Independentism and the Limits of State Sovereignty

Daniela Morgan

14. Indigenous Sovereignty as the In-Between Space: What is and What is Possible

Matthew Wildcat and Justin de Leon

View More



Hannes Cerny is a Visiting Assistant Professor in International Relations/Security at Trent University (Canada). He is the author of Iraqi Kurdistan, the PKK and International Relations: Theory and Ethnic Conflict (2018).

Janis Grzybowski is Assistant Professor in Political Science/ International Relations at ESPOL at the Université Catholique de Lille and a Research Fellow at the REPI at the Université libre de Bruxelles.