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Jens Bartelson: "The indivisibility of sovereignty"

Published on 8 June, 2011

Republics of Letters: A Journal for the Study of Knowledge, Politics, and the Arts 2, no. 2 (June 1, 2011)



Indivisibility has long been among the defining characteristics of sovereignty. As Hans J. Morgenthau once stated this point, “sovereignty over the same territory cannot reside simultaneously in two different authorities, that is, sovereignty is indivisible.” Sovereignty cannot be divided without ceasing to be sovereignty proper, and precisely this quality of being indivisible distinguishes sovereign authority from other forms of political power. Dividing sovereignty between two or more authorities within a given state would therefore be to dissolve that state into parts. The indivisibility of sovereignty is thus a necessary condition of the unity of the state.

Read the whole article here.

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