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Sovereignty: Organized Hypocrisy [Kindle Edition]

Stephen D. Krasner
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The acceptance of human rights and minority rights, the increasing role of international financial institutions, and globalization have led many observers to question the continued viability of the sovereign state. Here a leading expert challenges this conclusion. Stephen Krasner contends that states have never been as sovereign as some have supposed. Throughout history, rulers have been motivated by a desire to stay in power, not by some abstract adherence to international principles. Organized hypocrisy--the presence of longstanding norms that are frequently violated--has been an enduring attribute of international relations

Political leaders have usually but not always honored international legal sovereignty, the principle that international recognition should be accorded only to juridically independent sovereign states, while treating Westphalian sovereignty, the principle that states have the right to exclude external authority from their own territory, in a much more provisional way. In some instances violations of the principles of sovereignty have been coercive, as in the imposition of minority rights on newly created states after the First World War or the successor states of Yugoslavia after 1990; at other times cooperative, as in the European Human Rights regime or conditionality agreements with the International Monetary Fund.

The author looks at various issues areas to make his argument: minority rights, human rights, sovereign lending, and state creation in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Differences in national power and interests, he concludes, not international norms, continue to be the most powerful explanation for the behavior of states.

Editorial Reviews


One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2000

"Stephen Krasner played a key role in transforming state sovereignty from a neorealist presumption into an object of sustained inquiry. Thus his new book is particularly noteworthy. . . . Keeping different kinds of sovereignty straight is crucial to the study of international relations, whether at the hands of neorealists or constructivists, nonliberal institutionalists, or postmodernists."--Fred H. Lawson, The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science

"Krasner stakes out a rigorous and important position. This book is one that must be read by those who have the slightest interest in the history of international relations."--Virginia Quarterly Review

"Sovereignty is a powerful and important book, destined to become a standard realist position in the current contexts of globalization and security theory."--Choice

From the Back Cover

"Stephen Krasner weighs in on a growing debate over the continued relevance of sovereignty today. Is it declining or not? Is the state system about to be replaced by something else? Krasner's book will spark much debate and become required reading for all those who wish to think seriously about the nature of sovereignty today."--Hendrik Spruyt, Columbia University

"Sovereignty: Organized Hypocrisy is a book with a provocative theme that is tracked through a variety of interesting cases to a conclusion that may help to clarify contemporary discussions of a central theoretical and practical issue in the discipline. It is likely to become a standard example of mainstream realist efforts to address the current generation of arguments that globalization is producing fundamental change in international relations."--Jack Donnelly, University of Denver

Product Details

  • File Size: 1244 KB
  • Print Length: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (August 2, 1999)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001PTH0TO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #413,581 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Organized hypocrisy ??? July 16, 2004
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Stephen D. Krasner calls into question the nowadays widespread idea that sovereignty is being eroded by different factors (for example, globalization). He points out that, as a matter of fact, the term *sovereignty* has multiple meanings. Ignoring that can be remarkably problematic, because it doesn?t allow us to analyze adequately such an essential concept as sovereignty...

The author says that the term sovereignty is used mainly in four ways. International legal sovereignty refers to the practices that have to do with mutual recognition, while Westphalian sovereignty has to do with *political organization based on the exclusion of external actors from authority structures within a given territory*. Domestic sovereignty refers to the *formal organization of political authority within the state* and the ability of rulers to exercise control within it. Lastly, Interdependence sovereignty takes into account the way in which public authorities regulate the flow of people, information, capital and ideas across the borders of the state.

The different kinds of sovereignty don?t always go together, and can change at different paces. In this book Krasner concentrates on studying International legal sovereignty and Westphalian sovereignty, seeking to show us how they apply in the international system. According to him, those two kinds of sovereignty are good examples of organized hypocrisy, because they are recognized but not always respected. For instance, Westphalian sovereignty (based on the exclusion of external actors) has been violated repeatedly, and several motives (for example minority rights, fiscal responsibility and international security) have been used as pretexts to do so.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sovereignty is relative, never absolute September 10, 2013
Most people think and talk as if sovereignty of a country means that their government can decide what happens in their country. Other countries cannot impose anything on a sovereign country. This also referred to as non-intervention. The author proves with more than a hundred examples that this has never been the case and is not the case to day.

All countries like to be recognized as sovereign because it allows them to establish embassies in other countries make treaties and join international organizations such as the United Nations and the World Trade Organization. It is especially attractive for small countries. Large powerful countries are and have always imposed conditions on smaller countries. A typical example is the UN Security Council that cannot decide on intervention in any of the permanent security members' countries. In addition each has the right of veto. This was inevitable as the United States and Russia would not have joined the United Nations if they would have had to accept intervention in their own countries. They considered themselves "above the law".

An interesting example is Greece that became independent in1832. The great powers imposed on Greece to become a monarchy rather than a republic as the people wanted. They also appointed the first monarch, the 17-year-old son of the king of Bavaria, Otto, without any influence of the Greek people. Otto was overthrown in a military coup in 1863. The great powers decided that his successor would the youngest son, also 17 years old, of the King of Denmark. Since 2010 the Greek government is again told what to do. The difference is that the government could have said no and go "bankrupt'.
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8 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Anyone who concern sovereignty should read this book! September 20, 2000
By Mark Wu
Sovereignty sounds an out-of-date word in this globalization time. Therefore it seems no much people really want to seriously discuss this topic and let the government and media talk nonsense about it.
This book will tell you the tale of Westphalia still predominate us, either thought or action, especially the hypothetic foreign policy!
I think this book is the best one in sovereignty-related books, for its enough fully detailed collecting and its conclusion, i.e. the fiction of sovereignty during past several centuries.
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