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Taking Sovereignty Seriously

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The following brief remarks discuss the essential arguments put forward in Koskenniemi’s thought-provoking article. While I think that some of these arguments are not really fitting or are exaggerated, I agree with the author that it is much too early to put sovereignty to rest. On the contrary, we still very much need the sovereign State, but as a State whose sovereignty has undergone important changes. The real issue is not whether we need sovereignty or not, but rather how to induce the States to play their indispensable role as guarantors of the international legal order.

About the Author

E. Klein
University of Potsdam
Russian Federation


1. Fassbender, B. (2003). Sovereignty and Constitutionalism in International Law, in Walker, N. (ed.). Sovereignty in Transition. Oxford. Pp. 115-143.

2. Klein, E. (2015). The Importance and Challenges of Values-Based Legal Orders. Intercultural Human Rights Law Review. 10. Pp. 1-23.

3. Koskenniemi, M. (2010). What Use for Sovereignty Today? Asian Journal of International Law. 1. Pp. 61-70.

4. Schmitt, C. (1979). Die Tyrannei der Werte, in Schmitt, C., Jüngel, E., and Schelz, S. Die Tyrannei der Werte. Hamburg. Pp. 11-43.

5. Thakur, R. (2013). The Use of International Force to Prevent or Halt Atrocities: From Humanitarian Intervention to the Responsibility to Protect, in Shelton, D. (ed.). The Oxford Handbook of International Human Rights Law. Oxford. Pp. 815-840.


For citation:

Klein E. Taking Sovereignty Seriously. Kutafin Law Review. 2017;4(2):292-298.

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