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Captives of Sovereignty


  • Date Published: August 2011
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107012875

£ 72.00

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About the Authors
  • A picture of sovereignty holds the study of politics captive. Captives of Sovereignty looks at the historical origins of this picture of politics, critiques its philosophical assumptions and offers a way to move contemporary critiques of sovereignty beyond their current impasse. The first part of the book is diagnostic. Why, despite their best efforts to critique sovereignty, do political scientists who are dissatisfied with the concept continue to reproduce the logic of sovereignty in their thinking? Havercroft draws on the writings of Hobbes and Spinoza to argue that theories of sovereignty are produced and reproduced in response to skepticism. The second part of the book draws on contemporary critiques of skeptical arguments by Wittgenstein and Cavell to argue that their alternative way of responding to skepticism avoids the need to invoke a sovereign as the final arbiter of all political disputes.

    • First book length treatment of how modern theories of sovereignty developed in response to skeptical arguments in religion, philosophy and politics
    • Will appeal to historians of political thought interested in the normative implications of current historical scholarship
    • Will also appeal to critical IR scholars and contemporary political theorists
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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2011
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107012875
    • length: 276 pages
    • dimensions: 234 x 159 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.58kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Part I:
    1. A picture holds us captive
    2. Sovereignty, judgment, and epistemic skepticism
    3. Sovereignty, language, and ethical skepticism
    4. Sovereignty, religious skepticism, and the theological-political problem
    Part II:
    5. Political authority and skepticism
    6. Authority, criteria, and the new social contract
    7. The claim of global community
    Conclusion: authority without supremacy, community with contestation.

  • Author

    Jonathan Havercroft, University of Oklahoma
    Jonathan Havercroft is an Assistant Professor in the Political Science Department at the University of Oklahoma. He held the Canadian Security and Defence Forum Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Centre of International Relations, University of British Columbia, in 2006–2007 and he was awarded a Social Sciences and Humanities Council (Canada) Doctoral Fellowship for his dissertation research. Jonathan describes himself as an international political theorist and he draws upon contemporary and historical works of political philosophy to critique current problems in global politics. He has published articles and book chapters on Spinoza and the multitude, the struggle for recognition of indigenous rights under international law, space weaponization, and Wittgenstein and the meaning of liberty. His work has appeared in the journals Constellations and the Review of International Studies.

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