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A European Republic of Sovereign States: Sovereignty, republicanism and the European Union

Bellamy, R; (2017) A European Republic of Sovereign States: Sovereignty, republicanism and the European Union. European Journal of Political Theory , 16 (2) pp. 188-209. 10.1177/1474885116654389. Green open access

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Abstract

This article defends state sovereignty as necessary for a form of popular sovereignty capable of realising the republican value of non-domination and argues it remains achievable and normatively warranted in an interconnected world. Many scholars, including certain republicans, contend that the external sovereignty of states can no longer be maintained or justified in such circumstances. Consequently, we must abandon the sovereignty of states and reconceive popular sovereignty on a different basis. Some argue sovereignty must be displaced upwards to a more global state, while others advocate it be vertically and horizontally dispersed to units below, across and above the state. Each group offers a related vision of the European Union to illustrate their proposals. Both these arguments are criticised as more likely to produce than reduce domination because neither can sustain a form of popular sovereignty capable of instantiating relations of non-domination. This article proposes the alternative of a republican association of sovereign states that allows sovereign states and their peoples to mutually regulate their external sovereignty in non-dominating ways. This alternative proposal provides a more plausible and defensible means for sustaining the requisite kind of popular sovereignty in contemporary conditions and a more appropriate vision of the European Union.

Type: Article
Title: A European Republic of Sovereign States: Sovereignty, republicanism and the European Union
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/1474885116654389
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1177/1474885116654389
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author(s) 2016. This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Sovereignty, republicanism, non-domination, democracy, European Union
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1503590
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