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Inequality, Globalization, and World Politics$
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Andrew Hurrell and Ngaire Woods

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198295662

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198295669.001.0001

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Sovereignty and Inequality

Sovereignty and Inequality

Chapter:
(p.66) 3 Sovereignty and Inequality
Source:
Inequality, Globalization, and World Politics
Author(s):

Benedict Kingsbury (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198295669.003.0004

Elaborates on the way in which inequality is entrenched within the existing international order, examining the way in which sovereignty and inequality are inseparably linked in international law. The principle of state sovereignty has long relieved international lawyers from having to think about inequality, by adopting a mask of formal equality and leaving actual inequalities to be treated as the responsibility of individual states. Begins by examining the relations between sovereignty and inequality within the mainstream tradition of international law. It then assesses the extent to which challenges of globalization, democratization, and privatization have forced adaptations of the traditional concept of sovereignty, and whether the mounting criticisms of that concept might soon lead to the replacement of its present normative basis by a functional basis, speculating on the possible consequences for the management of inequality. Concludes that a radical change in the international law concept of sovereignty will be hazardous if not accompanied by development of adequate alternative means to manage inequality.

Keywords:   inequality, international law, sovereignty

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