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The Nature of State Sovereignty – Research Guider

The paper "The Nature of State Sovereignty" is a worthy example of a research proposal on politics.
There are scholars who argue that the concept of sovereignty emerged during the Roman times while some maintain that it was only a recent invention and have emerged along with the idea of the modern state. Unarguably, there are serious contentions on this subject but the unifying thought is that this concept has been the basis for communities to vest power on a group of individuals to legitimately govern and demand loyalty from their subjects and maintain social order.
This research will focus on modern sovereignty – the concept widely accepted as the appropriate principle today. In this context, sovereignty is considered one that is entirely inseparable from the modern state. The problem here is how to comprehensively or universally define sovereignty. There are scholars who pointed to the fact the concept itself is ambiguous and is prone to varying interpretations.
The purpose of this research, hence, is to show that sovereignty has a coherent character, with continuing relevance, particularly in international relations. Though it has evolved and may have taken different definition according to state, commentator, international experts, and so forth, its development tells us of a universal pattern – that one which was transformed according to the theory of International Relations.

This study will primarily use secondary data on modern sovereignty – texts and materials available that would: 1) help develop a framework to establish a universal character for sovereignty; and, 2) explain and support the assumption that the conceptions of sovereignty are not exactly contradictory but actually coherent and could complement each other.

Literature Review
Being a major theme in political thought, the body of scholarly work on modern sovereignty is quite extensive. Since the research methodology for this paper is qualitative in nature, these resources would be extensively utilized. Some important works to be included in this research, for instance, is published by David Held, whose discourse on the emergence of modern sovereignty is extremely helpful (1995). I would also like to cite Martin Loughlin’s (2004) work on public law that posited a framework wherein sovereignty and its various conceptions would be reconciled into one encompassing, coherent and continuing concept. Meanwhile, John Jackson’s (2006) own discourse on the subject explored the relevance and the role played by sovereignty in international relations. There is, for instance, his discourse of the “Westphalian” concept, among other theories that outlined the dynamics of international relations in the context of the issue of sovereignty. (57) There are many other materials to be used by this paper such as those written by Brace and Hoffman, Hasenclever, Mielebock and Schimmelfennig, Hoffman, Harris, Krasner and a number of other researchers.

The subject of modern sovereignty could be interpreted in a number of ways. But these interpretations and their differences do not necessarily mean that the concept is marred by contradictions. Instead, they represent the variables that constitute the logical progression of the transformation of modern sovereignty in order to navigate the international environment wherein nation-states increasingly interact in political, economic, and military areas.


Held, D. 1995. Democracy and the global order: from the modern state to cosmopolitan governance. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Jackson, J. 2006. Sovereignty, the WTO and changing fundamentals of international law. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Loughlin, M. 2004. The Idea of Public Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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