Completed Research - Sovereignty as Responsibility
Principal Investigator: Professor Jennifer Welsh
The project assesses whether the meaning of sovereignty in contemporary international relations has shifted from its traditional association with authority and towards notions of responsibility. The former defines sovereignty as unrivalled control over a territory and the population residing within, while the latter suggests that sovereignty is conditional upon a state demonstrating respect for a minimum standard of human rights. After presenting a conceptual framework for understanding sovereignty, I examine four areas of state practice to determine whether a new norm of ‘sovereignty as responsibility’ has taken hold: the recognition of new states, humanitarian intervention, post-conflict reconstruction, and development assistance.