Download PDF This content was written by a student and assessed as part of a university degree. Sovereignty can be said to be the fundamental pillar on which international relations take place. It is sought by territories claiming independence and forcibly defended by those who had it granted. It has also been one of the most debated concepts in International Relations thereafter IR in the last 20 years, particularly since the end of the Cold War when the nature of statehood and boundaries seems to be redrawn by the forces of globalisation and human rights rhetoric. But what is the fuss about this political idea? On the one hand, some have argued that sovereignty is becoming an obsolete idea given that the successful neoliberal economic policies and ethical foreign policy operate in a border-less world.
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Reviews 2 The acceptance of human rights and minority rights, the increasing role of international financial institutions, and globalization have led many observers to question the continued viability of the sovereign state. Here a leading expert challenges this conclusion.
Stephen Krasner contends that states have never been as sovereign as some have supposed. Throughout history, rulers have been motivated by a desire to stay in power, not by some abstract adherence to international principles. Political leaders have usually but not always honored international legal sovereignty, the principle that international recognition should be accorded only to juridically independent sovereign states, while treating Westphalian sovereignty, the principle that states have the right to exclude external authority from their own territory, in a much more provisional way.
The author looks at various issues areas to make his argument: minority rights, human rights, sovereign lending, and state creation in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Krasner is the Graham H. Is it declining or not? Is the state system about to be replaced by something else? It is likely to become a standard example of mainstream realist efforts to address the current generation of arguments that globalization is producing fundamental change in international relations.
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