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Politics, Sovereignty and Cosmopolitanism in Times of Globalisation

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In this paper I reconstruct the historical significance of the concept of sovereignty and I defend its relevance against the critique of Hannah Arendt. I argue that sovereignty, understood as the concept that expresses the normative unity of the legal order, is not incompatible with plurality and constitutionalism and that it was the condition for the formation of inter state law. Further I criticize the abstract moralism that characterizes today's cosmopolitanism and the paradigm of global governance. Although the significance of sovereignty is shifting in the context of globalisation, it is not becoming irrelevant because it symbolizes the right of political self-determination of a community as well as the capacity to transfer some portion of its regulatory competence to a supra-national legal order.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2008

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  • Archiv für Rechts- und Sozialphilosophie, edited by authorisation of the International Association for Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy (IVR), is an international, peer-reviewed journal, first published in 1907. It features original articles on philosophical research on legal and social questions, covering all aspects of social and legal life.
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