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Naturalism and Democracy

A Commentary on Spinoza's "Political Treatise" in the Context of His System

Edited by Wolfgang Bartuschat, Stephan Kirste and Manfred Walther

Naturalism and Democracy, first published in German in 2014, presents a long-awaited commentary on Spinoza’s Political Treatise (Tractatus politicus). Its contents reflect a recent intensification in the interest in Spinoza’s political philosophy in Germany. The volume addresses Spinoza’s political philosophy according to its place within his philosophical system as a whole, beginning with his theory of the natural genesis of law and state. Following from this are commentaries on the foundations of political philosophy, the relation of natural and state law, the theory of sovereignty, and theory of international relations. These chapters lay the basis for four essays interpreting Spinoza’s attempt to conceive of a systematic optimization of political and legal institutions for all three forms of governance (monarchy, aristocracy, democracy). The volume closes with an analysis of the current relevance of Spinoza’s political thinking and his influence on contemporary debates.
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Michael Naas

“sovereign power” would interest Derrida, who never tired of trying to locate the limits of all onto-theological or theologico-political determinations of sovereignty. Hence Derrida in 1989, six years after the first Geschlecht essay, continues his critique of Heidegger regarding the human

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Clive Schofield and Richard Schofield

Introduction Islands represent a longstanding source of dispute in the law of the sea and a major source of friction in maritime relations between States. This is arguably especially the case in East and Southeast Asia where multiple contentious sovereignty disputes over islands remain unresolved

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Patrick Quinton-Brown

recurring themes of dissent exist with varying degrees of emphasis from R2P opponents. Conventional depictions of R2P opposition, such as the absolute sovereignty or North vs. South explanations, are therefore inadequate representations of the diverse range of arguments employed by dissenters. Next it

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Anders Henriksen

laws of war apply in a potential armed conflict in cyberspace. 8 The Tallinn Manual is a case in point. Although it does include general topics of public international law, such as issues related to sovereignty, jurisdiction and state responsibility, it is primarily devoted to the use of force and the

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State Failure, Sovereignty and Effectiveness

Legal Lessons from the Decolonization of Sub-Saharan Africa

Gerard Kreijen and Sir Robert Y. Jennings, QC

This comprehensive study of State failure upholds that the collapse of States in sub-Saharan Africa is a self-inflicted problem caused by the abandonment of the principle of effectiveness during decolonization. On the one hand, the abandonment of effectiveness may have facilitated the recognition of the new African States, but on the other it did lead to the creation of States that were essentially powerless: some of which became utter failures.
Written in a style both provocative and unorthodox and using convincing arguments, this study casts doubt on some of the most sacred principles of the modern doctrine of international law. It establishes that the declaratory theory of recognition cannot satisfactorily explain the continuing existence of failed States. It also demonstrates that the principled assertion of the right to self-determination as the basis for independence in Africa has turned the notion of sovereignty into a formal-legal figment without substance.
This book is a plea for more realism in international law. Pensive pessimists in the tradition of Hobbes will probably love it. Idealists in the tradition of Grotius may hate it, but they will find it very difficult to reject its conclusions.
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‘My Capitalism Is Bigger than Yours!’

Against Combining ‘How the West Came to Rule’ with ‘The Origins of Capitalism’

Maïa Pal

intersocietal’ is, accordingly, the only solution to Eurocentrism. This article questions this conclusion by exploring how this conceptual apparatus – according to which, early-modern social relations are externally causally connected – applies to legal sovereignty and jurisdictional conflicts and to the

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James J. Fox

its identification as a source of spices and rare woods. This paper considers ideas of sovereignty held by both Portuguese and Dutch at the time of European contact. It traces the consequence of the application of these ideas to the development of forms of governance in eastern Indonesia: in

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Francesco Sindico

, including an overview of the key characteristics of the Guarani Aquifer System and the steps that have led to the adoption of the Guarani Aquifer Agreement. Sovereignty, the obligation to cooperate and the incipient institutional framework are discussed as key elements arising from the Guarani Aquifer

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Human Rights, State Sovereignty and Medical Ethics

Examining Struggles Around Coercive Sterilisation of Romani Women


Claude Cahn

Human Rights, State Sovereignty and Medical Ethics: Examining Struggles Around Coercive Sterilisation of Romani Women examines the mobilized use by people and groups of the international human rights law framework to move legal, policy and ultimately social change at national and local level. One particular case study is examined in detail: efforts by Romani women in the Czech Republic and Slovakia to secure legal remedy for coercive sterilization. International legal aspects of these cases are examined in detail. The book concludes by endeavouring to answer questions concerning the nature of international law and the evolution of the post-World War II international human rights framework, the structure of national sovereignty, and the potential impact of both on human autonomy.