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Territorial Sovereignty: A Philosophical Exploration

Anna Stilz (Author)

Territorial Sovereignty: A Philosophical Exploration offers a qualified defense of a territorial states-system. It argues that three core values-occupancy, basic justice, and collective self-determination-are served by an international system made up of self-governing, spatially defined political units. The defense is qualified because the book does not actually justify all the sovereignty rights states currently claim, and that are recognized in international law. Instead, the book proposes important changes to states' sovereign prerogatives, particularly with respect to internal autonomy for political minorities, immigration, and natural resources. Part I of the book argues for a right of occupancy, holding that a legitimate function of the international system is to specify and protect people's preinstitutional claims to specific geographical places. Part II turns to the question of how a state might acquire legitimate jurisdiction over a population of occupants. It argues that the state will have a right to rule a population and its territory if it satisfies conditions of basic justice and also facilitates its people's collective self-determination. Finally, Parts III and IV of this book argue that the exclusionary sovereignty rights to control over borders and natural resources that can plausibly be justified on the basis of the three core values are more limited than has traditionally been thought. Oxford Political Theory presents the best new work in contemporary political theory. It is intended to be broad in scope, including original contributions to political philosophy, and also work in applied political theory. The series will contain works of outstanding quality with no restriction as to approach or subject matter.  

Contents: 1. Introduction. Part I: Occupancy. 2. Occupancy Rights. 3. Challenges to Occupancy. Part II: Self-Determination. 4. Legitimacy and Self-Determination. 5. Refining the Political Autonomy Account. Part III: Exclusion. 6. Territorial Distribution. 7. Is There a Right to Exclude? Part IV: Looking Forward. 8. Resource Sovereignty and International Responsibilities. 9. Conclusion.

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About the author

Anna Stilz

Anna Stilz is Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Politics and Human Values at Princeton University. Her first book, Liberal Loyalty: Freedom, Obligation, and the State, was published by Princeton University Press in 2009. She is an associate editor of Philosophy and Public Affairs.


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Bibliographic information

Title Territorial Sovereignty: A Philosophical Exploration
Author Anna Stilz
Format Hardcover
Date published: 12.10.2019
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 9780198833536
length 304p.