Martti Koskenniemi discusses the variable content that “sovereignty” has received in legal and political history as it has been invoked in order to defend or attack arrangements of power.
Join HRP, Program on Law and Society in the Muslim World, Harvard International Law Journal, Harvard European Law Association, and the Institute for Global Law and Policy on November 6 at 12:30pm ET for the hybrid event “Powers of Sovereignty – Powers of Paradox” with Martti Koskenniemi, who currently is the William D. Zabel `61 Visiting Professor in Human Rights at Harvard Law School. His talk will address the variable content that “sovereignty” has received in legal and political history as it has been invoked in order to defend or attack particular arrangements of power. The purpose will be to examine sovereignty as a polemical concept. Its special power as such depends on the way it invokes the registers of both description and prescription. As a descriptive notion, it can be used to characterize both the power of a political entity living in complete isolation from others (“sovereignty” as autarky) as well of an entity completely tied in a web of social relations (“sovereignty” as integration). As a prescriptive notion, it may be made to appear as a summary of all the rights, powers and privileges that a particular status entails (sovereignty as “law”), or as a source from which all legal rights, powers and privileges emanate but which stands itself outside them (sovereignty as “political”, or “sociological” notion).
Lunch will be served. In-person attendance is available to HUID holders only. Virtual participants can register on Zoom. For registration and more information, please visit the event page on the HRP website.