Sovereignty is of declining significance in international relations

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Carl Schmitt once stated, “The protego ergo oblige” (n.d); meaning I protect therefore I oblige. This is the basis of a key aspect of International Relations: Sovereignty. Theoretically, it can be defined as the supreme power or authority. Sovereignty as a concept plays a critical role in maintaining international order however has been interpreted in several different ways; its context in theory and in reality. In order to appreciate Sovereignty, defining the term ‘state’ is essential. A state is essentially a structured political society, existing under a government. Consequently, State Sovereignty is a state with a definite territory and a government where domestic and international sovereignty is practised permitting the associations with other sovereign states. This may be divided into the two categories of State Sovereignty: Domestic Sovereignty and International Sovereignty. The former, otherwise referred to as Internal Sovereignty, deals with the internal affairs of a state, focusing on how it functions and the relationship of dependency between the sovereign power and its own citizens. Every state has political institutions acknowledged by the citizens essentially: The Executive, Judiciary and Legislature that solely concentrate on governing the state, making laws and protecting its citizens from external harm. The latter argues that states acknowledge the existence of other states through diplomatic relations while emphasising that no state has higher authority than the other due to anarchy. This is absence of a supreme international power. Derived from The Westphalian model in 1648, the European rulers agreed to halt intrusion in one another’s domestic affairs after a 30-year war. International Sovereignty asserts that...

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...ates’ control over its own boarders. To answer the thesis statement “Is Sovereignty of declining significance in International Relations?” these dynamics only transform, rather than annihilate Sovereignty. Still the basis of maintaining international order, Sovereignty prevents a state from bombing or pilfering other states’ natural resources. Certainly, it has been challenged but so has all other ideologies of International Relations e.g.: Realism has been challenged by Liberalism but this does not mean that Realism today is of less significance than it was centuries ago. The environment is constantly evolving, new ideas arise, technology advances, and moral perspectives keep changing. Sovereignty has changed however it is still valid. As Emerich de Vattel (1883) asserted, ‘Of all the rights that can belong to a nation, sovereignty is doubtless the most precious’

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