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By Jens Bartelson

The concept that of sovereignty is principal to diplomacy conception and theories of the nation and offers the root of the normal separation of recent politics into family and foreign spheres. during this e-book Jens Bartelson presents a serious research and conceptual background of sovereignty, facing philosophical and political texts in the course of 3 sessions: the Renaissance, the Classical Age, and Modernity. He argues that sovereignty might be considered as an idea contingent upon, instead of basic to, political technology and its historical past.

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Extra resources for A Genealogy of Sovereignty

Sample text

On this point, Aron is most explicit and lists a series of significations attributed 30 Deconstructing sovereignty to space in international political theory. First, space is a physical fact, since it seems; undeniable that any human configuration must occupy a piece of it, irrespective of political organization. Second, space is an environment, since it seems likewise undeniable that any human configuration there finds the resources essential to its subsistence. Third, space is a theatre, since every human activity requires a spatial framework to exist.

82 Consequently, at this stage, what is 'inside' and what is 'outside' is in the eyes of the beholder, not in the understanding of the agents themselves. The crucial step towards legitimization of violence comes when it is both fitted into a permanent structure, gradually monopolized and concentrated to a single locus of authority, and simultaneously functions as a continuous means of differentiation between insiders and outsiders; in short, when this distinction becomes a living reality, and consequently, stripped of quotation marks in Weber's text: If the idea of a specific legitimacy of violence is connected with any type of consensual action, it is with that of the kinship group in the fulfilment of the obligation of blood vengeance.

What is encompassed by sovereignty is from the vantage point of its locus a domain of objects, more or less essential components of a state by being integral to its objective unity as well as to its outward power and recognition. In the standard solution to this problem, endlessly repeated or simply taken for granted in the discourse on international politics, sovereignty is taken to be a political or legal fact within an already given and demarcated territory, simultaneously signifying sovereignty over the same territory, and everything that happens to be inside this portion of space.

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