Skip to main content
  • Print publication year: 2011
  • Online publication date: September 2011

1 - A picture holds us captive

from Part I

In political thought and analysis, we still have not cut off the head of the king.

Michel Foucault

If men wish to be free, it is precisely sovereignty they must renounce.

Hannah Arendt


Political theorists have critiqued the concept of sovereignty since Jean Bodin first articulated it. Over the last 130 years, political theorists’ interest in the concept of sovereignty has come in four waves: in the 1890s, in the 1930s, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and from the 1990s to the present. The latest wave of interest is the most sustained of the four, lasting more than eighteen years, and it has produced more publications. WorldCat lists more than twenty publications for every year in the twenty-first century, whereas the high-mark prior to 1991 was four publications in 1978 and 1931. The proliferation of interest in sovereignty is significant. The most recent wave of sovereignty scholarship has focused on two issues.

Recommend this book

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this book to your organisation's collection.

Captives of Sovereignty
  • Online ISBN: 9781139003322
  • Book DOI:
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to *
Arendt, H.What Is Freedom?Arendt, H.Between Past and Future: Eight Exercises in Political ThoughtNew YorkPenguin 1968 165
Hardt, M.Negri, A.EmpireCambridge, MAHarvard University Press 2001 xii
Alfred, T.Peace, Power, Righteousness: An Indigenous ManifestoDon Mills, ONOxford University Press 2009
Rothschild, E.What Is Security?Daedalus 124 1995 83