8 LEG 1 (2002)

handle is hein.journals/legthory8 and id is 1 raw text is: 

Legal Theory, 8 (2002), 1-44. Printed in the United States of America
Copyright @ Cambridge University Press 1352-3252/ 02 $9.50



Three Models of Sovereignty

David   Held
London School of Economics

There  are those who believe that the rules governing the international
political system are changing fundamentally; a newuniversal constitutional
order is in the making, with profound implications for the constituent units,
competencies, structure, and standing of the international legal order (cf
Cassese 1986, 1991; Weller 1997). On the other side, there are those who
are profoundly skeptical of any such transformation; they hold that states
remain  the leading source of all international rules-the limiting factor
that ensures that international relations are shaped, and remain anchored
to, the politics of the sovereign state (cf Smith 1987; Holsti 1988; Buzan,
Little, and Jones 1993). In all times, as Hobbes put it, political powers are
in continual jealousies, and in the state and postures of Gladiators (1968,
187-8). Despite new  legal initiatives, such as the human rights regime,
power  politics remain the bedrock of international relations; plus (a
change plus c'est la m&ne chose.
  This paper focuses on this debate and, in particular, on the extent of the
transformations underwayin  the international political realm. Three mod-
els of political power and international legal regulation are introduced in
order to facilitate the inquiry The first gives the state free reign in the
constitution of political and economic relations, and is referred to here as
the regime of classic sovereignty It is the law of states. The second model,
liberal international sovereignty, seeks to delimit political power and extend
the liberal concern with limited government to the international sphere.
Liberal international sovereignty embodies elements of both the law of
states and the law of peoples. The third model, which I call cosmopolitan
sovereignty, conceives international law as a system of public law which
properly circumscribes not just political power but all forms of social power.
Cosmopolitan  sovereigntyis the lawof peoples because it places at its center
the primacyof individual human beings as political agents, and the account-
ability of power (cf. Rawls 1999; Kuper 2000).
  Models  can be thought of as ideal types or heuristic devices which order
a field of inquiry They assist in clarifying the primary elements or constitu-


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