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Captives of Sovereignty Hardcover – September 30, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-1107012875 ISBN-10: 1107012872 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (September 30, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1107012872
  • ISBN-13: 978-1107012875
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,997,088 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Book Description

This is the first book length treatment of the connection between religious, political and philosophical skepticism and state sovereignty. The book engages with the writings of Thomas Hobbes, Benedict Spinoza, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Stanley Cavell. It will appeal to political philosophers, international relations scholars and intellectual historians interested in sovereignty.

About the Author

Jonathan Havercroft is an Assistant Professor in the Political Science Department at the University of Oklahoma. He held the Canadian Security and Defence Forum Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Centre of International Relations, University of British Columbia, in 2006-2007 and he was awarded a Social Sciences and Humanities Council (Canada) Doctoral Fellowship for his dissertation research. Jonathan describes himself as an international political theorist and he draws upon contemporary and historical works of political philosophy to critique current problems in global politics. He has published articles and book chapters on Spinoza and the multitude, the struggle for recognition of indigenous rights under international law, space weaponization, and Wittgenstein and the meaning of liberty. His work has appeared in the journals Constellations and the Review of International Studies.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. L. Huff on January 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover
doesn't quite nail his case. In arguing against the need of "sovereignty" - the state and its institutions, regardless of form - Professor Havercroft marshals a wide reading of classical Western philosophers and their interpretations of man's "needs within nature." His conclusion is that communities of nations, or within nations, can - like micro-communities such as villages - work out their differences horizontally without appeal to vertical executive power.

And so they can. But when they don't? When ambition or avarice underlays one side, or both, making consensus impossible to reach? Haverford takes the Hobbesian school to task but doesn't really negate its reasoning, beyond asserting that sovereign states - like the police - have a vested interest in the disorder they are created to contain. Just as removing the police - however unnecesary their meddling brutality - is no guarantee of social peace, removing sovereign institutions as mediators between men will not necessarily bring them closer together.

Reasserting autonomy from mediators certainly did not work in the former Yugoslavia, where the basis for communal cooperation was possible only after some kind of sovereign authority was re-established on the ground. Tribal Rwanda is another case; while the ability of racial communities to co-exist in the American Deep South is predicated on the overriding authority of Federal sovereignty to ensure local peace. Examples are legion as so many places on the planet devolve from state authority, or are rescued from local consequences of autonomy. Should states fail because they are "fail?" Perhaps I'm misreading Havercroft's circular endgame here. If so please enlighten me.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Reynolds on October 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I pronounce Sovereignity like this: "AWESOME"!!! This book blew my mind to the extreme. Earth-shaking and brain-baking, this ain't your grandpa's political science!
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