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Red Cross - not sovereign[edit]

In this article about the IFRC ICRC it is described as association under Swiss law (eg. registered in Swiss courts register, abiding Swiss procedures for legal persons, etc.) with some special priviledges, but this does not make it sovereign (like SMOM and states) - its members only employ SOME priviledges that in general are applied to representatives of sovereign entities. In contrast to SMOM that conducts regular diplomatic relations with the sovereign states, on equal footing, etc.

I think that we should better describe the IFRC ICRC status, but in any case the current line "Another case of sovereign non-state entitiy is the Red Cross" is wrong. Alinor (talk) 07:33, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

The IFRC is not soveriegn the ICRC is, they are two entirely different organizations under international law. In what way is the ICRC not soveriegn, it has diplomatic relations with other states and is treated like a peer by states in international law.XavierGreen (talk) 22:13, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
IFRC above was a typo, it should read ICRC (the private swiss association), not IFRC (the international federation of national societies) - as corrected. Both are not sovereign. Both doesn't have diplomatic relations with states and are not treated as peers by states. The ICRC is a private association registered in Switzerland (unlike SMOM which is a subject of international law in its own right, on par with Switzerland and other states). It only enjoys some special priviledges given to it by Switzerland and maybe other states and is tasked with some responsibilities by the Geneva conventions. And just saying....this article sux Alinor (talk) 10:04, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

States' rights and the Civil War[edit]

The existing language made it appear as if the South seceded over the abstract ideal of states' rights. In fact, both sides were more concerned with the actual effects of policy on slavery rather than the principle of states' right. I added material that shows that on slavery in the territories and fugitive slave laws it was the North rather than the South that used state sovereignty arguments.

I also replaced the generic phrase "sectional tensions" to describe exactly what the primary source of those tensions were -- the refusal of the South to accept the results of a national election. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 16:01, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

The section/article are about federal sovereignty vs. that of a state/republic in a federation. The American Civil War example is given in this section as a reference to a time when a clash over these kinds of sovereignty issues led to war. The mention of slavery was initially removed because it is irrelevant to the topic of state vs. federal sovereignty. It was put back in by North Shoreman to add historical context. It has not been removed. However, I think it is important to keep in mind that the article is generally about sovereignty, not slavery, and the relevance of the USA/CSA example is the sovereignty question, not the slavery question. I don't feel it is necessary to have a discussion of the intricacies of American slave law in this particular section/article.
The citation added by North Shoreman has been retained, although the text of the paragraph has been changed. The changes do not alter the information cited. (talk) 17:09, 10 January 2012 (UTC)Scott
The material you deleted is not, as you claim, about "the intricacies of American slave law." The concept of popular sovereignty is exactly on point to the issue of where sovereignty lies -- one side (northern Democrats) said it relied with the individual residents of a territory while the other side (both the Republicans and Southerners) defined it as a federal issue (although they disagreed on how the federal government should exercise its power). The exact same issue exists regarding personal liberty laws -- do states or the federal government determine the proper procedures for returning slaves.
Without this clarification, the section suggests that one side held one position on state sovereignty while the other held an opposite position. In fact both sides, depending on political expediency, were comfortable arguing from either position. As a compromise, I am adding a sentence that clarifies this shifting position. (I also took the liberty of indenting your comments for better readability.)Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 17:36, 10 January 2012 (UTC)


This article is very problematic, and has been tagged for over a year. I propose a redirect to Westphalian sovereignty, which is not so bad. Joe Bodacious (talk) 12:16, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

I think the way to handle that would be to either merge the two articles or delete one of the articles. I'm thinking that this should not be done unless there is some history of discussion first. However, I don't have a strong opinion one way or the other. Famspear (talk) 02:57, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
If it is necessary to delete and article, I would vote to delete this one, although to my understanding, it is common practice to just leave the weaker of the articles as a redirect. This article is poorly sourced and seems to be rather dubious in the conclusions it offers. The Westphalian sovereignty article seems far more solid. Joe Bodacious (talk) 22:11, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
Does anyone else have a strong opinion? I think that the present article is pretty useless, and we have a decent article elsewhere on the same topic. Joe Bodacious (talk) 22:20, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

Absolute vs. shared sovereignty[edit]

In an Era of supranational institutions at one end, and devolution to regions at the other end, absolute national sovereignty is eroding. A section about that crucial evolution seems needed in this article (currently absolute and shared sovereignty are treated separately). Actually, I'm against deleting it and on the contrary wish is it to be improved. This is because I see that sovereignty is a more and more fiercely debated topic. Some are afraid that its erosion bring chaos and others on the contrary see it as a straightjacket that should be eased to adapt to an evolutionary world. --Pgreenfinch (talk) 22:46, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

I agree that it is an important topic. I don't see a compelling reason to have two articles about it, however. The Westphalian sovereignty article seems far better to me, and I would suggest merging this article into that one. Here are a few problems I see with this article:
1. The "four aspects" listed at the beginning seems like Original Research, and the four aspects seem to overlap considerably. I note that there is a two-year old OR tag on the article. Cleanup is long overdue.
2. Why is the article illustrated with Leviathan? It seems totally inappropriate.
3. Under "history," the "classical" section is unsourced and appears to be OR. The "medieval" section mixes apples and oranges (state sovereignty and "feminine sovereignty.")
4. Much of what comes after is unsourced, with long-standing citation requests, and of that, I think a certain amount may nonsense which should be removed.
5. Now that I have read it through a second time, I discover that there is a link to yet another redundant article, Sovereign state. I think that there ought to be one well-written, well-sourced article that covers this topic. Joe Bodacious (talk) 12:46, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
The "four aspects" are sourced to a published book that describes them; and they are not a self-made synthesis of various sources, the book is a single source for all of them, so they do not fit the definition of original research. Author also explains thoroughly how these four aspects don't "overlap", and provides examples how can a country enjoy Westphalian sovereignty and, at the same time, fail at all three other aspects of sovereignty. So, Westphalian sovereignty is just one of general aspects of sovereignty, not only historically but also, more and more, in present times. It's just not appropriate to redirect whole article there. What about other aspects, where do readers get information about them from? It's like redirecting cake to cheese cake, just because the latter has a better quality. What you need to fix - fix here mercilessly under this title and you'll surely get support from community.
For clarification, you are surely allowed to copy-and-paste relevant fragments between articles if only you describe your action in your edit summary. --Kubanczyk (talk) 14:58, 23 April 2013 (UTC)

Merge to Westphalian sovereignty[edit]

User:Joe Bodacious proposed merging this article to Westphalian sovereignty without leaving an edit summary. The discussion is at Talk:Westphalian sovereignty#Merger proposals. — Blue-Haired Lawyer t 19:36, 29 January 2013 (UTC)

See my post directly above yours. Joe Bodacious (talk) 15:05, 13 February 2013 (UTC)

"Legitimate" sovereignty[edit]

The user Nug has been inserting a ref to indicate that sovereignty must be "legitimate" - that is, internationally recognized and diplomatically legal. This is to fit an argument he's having on a RfC he created. The current lede uses Encyclopedia Britannica as its source, and shouldn't be molested with other refs/words in the middle - because that's not what EB said, and this turns into original research. Comments before this turns into an edit war?--Львівське (говорити) 23:17, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

The purpose of Nug's edits are mainly to fit the opening to the mainstream sources. Everything else is just your assumption of bad faith. --Jaan Pärn (talk) 21:04, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
I do assume bad faith in motive given the circumstances, but I assume good faith in introducing the cited material properly into the article. The first edit skewed the lede that came from EB, the recent edit added textbook WP:SYN material, to suit the same purpose. I can call a spade a spade.--Львівське (говорити) 21:37, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
Please stop reverting my attempts to contribute to the article, you do not own it, nor is there is any justification for your bad faith. --Nug (talk) 00:26, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
I too am trying to contribute positively to the article. It's unfortunate that every one of your edits so far has been in some violation of OR/SYN. Even your most recent one, you altered the source to push your POV; you can't interject one source into another, then it's a misrepresentation of what the original source said. Combining secondary source opinions together to form statements is a form of original research, and you know this.--Львівське (говорити) 00:57, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

Question about these edits. The original says "The current notion of state sovereignty contains four aspects, or different ways of understanding the term: domestic, interdependence, international legal, and Westphalian", citing what Krasner said. Then the edit in question adds " territory, population, authority and recognition." in front of the Krasner list, while citing Biersteker. The problem I see here is that it injects 4 subjects in the middle of what is Krasner's definition.

So it went from "Sovereingty is: A,B,C,D" to "Sovereignty is: 1,2,3,4, A,B,C,D." Could the Biersteker material not have been in a separate sentence, properly attributed, either before or after the Krasner material? What is Birsteker say? (it's not on google books)--Львівське (говорити) 23:05, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

Since no page have been provided, I conclude the editor who added that text meant the page 3. However, the main idea expressed by the authors on this page is not that "territory, population and authority - in addition to recognition - are important aspects of sovereignty". The authors' major point is that it would be incorrect to provide any specific definition for this term, which is permanently changing and developing, because "the modern state system is not based on some timeless concept of sovereignty". Therefore, I would say the Birstefer's opinion has been taken out of context.--Paul Siebert (talk) 18:32, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
Birsteker's material has been separated into a separate sentence for clarity, I think an intermediate edit added some confusion. I don't think what Birsteker states is incompatible with Krasner, given that he describes four forms each with different weighting of particular aspects. --Nug (talk) 18:40, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
Again, Birsteker's point is that any universal definition of sovereignty would be ahistorical and misleading. That is what should be said if you want to use this source.--Paul Siebert (talk) 19:17, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
Birsteker makes lots of points in his book on state sovereignty, that there exists four aspects is one of them. --Nug (talk) 21:12, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
perhaps that would be best suited for the state sovereignty article? --Львівське (говорити) 22:07, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
Krasner is also talking about state sovereignty. --Nug (talk) 23:22, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
my bad --Львівське (говорити) 15:36, 13 February 2013 (UTC)

The user Lvivske has prepended a word "legal" to sovereignty in the Independence and sovereignty section[1], even though is is not in the cited source. This is highly ironic given his objection to prepending "legitimate" to sovereignty in the lede. --Nug (talk) 22:28, 13 February 2013 (UTC)

pg 50. the same page in the citations: "Sovereignty is a legal right [that is] transferrable." He is clearly speaking of sovereignty in the legal sense on this page. He's a legal professor for crying out loud. Also, it helps to paraphrase material you are citing rather than copy & pasting copyrighted material verbatim without attribution or quotations, which is plagiarism. --Львівське (говорити) 22:35, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
Opps, missed that, fixed. Making false allegations of copy and pasting now? The text I inserted is paraphrased, certain phrase like "illegal incorporation of the Baltic states" are fairly standard in the literature[2] --Nug (talk) 22:45, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
I apologize, it read identically on the first over. My mistake.--Львівське (говорити) 23:12, 13 February 2013 (UTC)

first sentence: it says that they are separate, but the source itself actually says: "By title or right Mr. Canning and his contemporaries understood the title or right of sovereignty. While reference was also sometimes made to 'independence' or 'independence and sovereignty', it is submitted that it is at least imprecise to use sovereignty as a synonym for independce" - so he's just saying Canning was kinda wrong in the given context of rights & laws. In his footnotes, he says "for the synonymous use of sovereignty and independence, see Oppenheim, etc." so they can be used as synonyms. --Львівське (говорити) 23:17, 13 February 2013 (UTC)

Okay, how about "however these concepts are not precisely aligned" --Nug (talk) 23:55, 13 February 2013 (UTC)

Neutrality of this article[edit]

This article is not general enough. It confuses the more modern concept of "state sovereignty" with the general concept of "sovereignty" and even in the topic of "state sovereignty" there is nothing on the topic of the city states or tribal 'states' from even earlier times (pre-Babylon). Granted, the word "sovereignty" is rooted in Latin, but the concept(s) that the word refers to are so much older.

While state sovereignty is certainly an aspect of the more general topic of sovereignty, it is only a part of the whole. Even the portions on state sovereignty are biased to and/or rooted in the Roman school[s] of thought - It's flavor dominates the whole article. Further, while people will certainly find many cites coming from Roman school[s] of thought (i.e. post roman European scholars - Like Hobbes, Vattel, Rousseau, etc..), it doesn't justify the bias. This article must rise above Rome's doctrines and present a more complete treatment of the topic.

Further still, among the earliest concepts and claims of sovereigns and sovereignty from the Myths (world wide) depicted the various Pharaohs, Kings/Queens, Emperors/Empresses, Chiefs, etc.. as living Gods and/or Divine beings. Even to this day, the current Queen of England claims her position is by the grace of God, as does the Pope... others?

On a similar note, and also among the oldest and most important concepts of sovereignty, is that of the sovereignty of the Soul/Ātman over the body, and subsequently over one's life/property (and then, perhaps over a community of people). This principle is what gave birth to the modern concept of Democratic Republics (as opposed Aristocratic Republics), and the foundation of the United States of America in the first place. It's the inspiration behind the words in the Declaration of Independence that "All People are created Equal" (to the King of England,) and this in turn gave birth to the concept of delegation of a portion of each of the people's inherent sovereign Powers and Duties to a state of public servants dedicated to protect the individual sovereignty of each member of the society.

I present these criticisms and additional concepts for discussion before I start any editing as they will require a somewhat major reworking of this entire article.Christopher Theodore (talk) 14:26, 3 November 2013 (UTC)

History - only back to Rome?[edit]

The roots of the concepts of Sovereigns and Sovereignty are so old they are lost in myth and precede recorded history, and someone decided Rome would be pointed out as the point of origin and no one balked at this fallacy?

Hammurabi was the sixth king of Babylon and Babylon existed long before Rome. And the concepts of Sovereignty existed long before Babylon.

Further, there is only a small minority of people on Earth that don't believe in God in some form or another, and the majority of Earths current population would point out that God is the original Sovereign and all concepts of Sovereignty are based on God (and if we look further back into Earths history when pantheism was more wide spread, the Gods - Like Zeus or Ra for example). Christopher Theodore (talk) 14:26, 3 November 2013 (UTC)

Lede redact[edit]

Cut back to bare facts per the tag request. Please apply the OR tag to specific §§ so they can be addressed as well. (talk) 12:19, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

signing after the fact and post the move to only identified editing. Lycurgus (talk) 01:42, 14 July 2015 (UTC)


Looking at recent edits, I think that there is too much emphasis on legal jargon. This is a difficult subject, and we need to make the article accessible to the layman. Joe Bodacious (talk) 14:53, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

further on the subject of Legalese[edit]

Indeed, the whole issue of whether a government is sovereign or not pertains to the relationship it has with God. Narrowing the issue to John Locke's Two Treatises of Civil Government which dealt with the issue of whether a king possessed absolute power, John Locke wasn't challenging a wayward monarchy -- the possession of absolute power wasn't their idea -- but that supposition belonged to an underling of theirs named Sir Robert Filmer which was formulated in his work entitled Patriarcha.

Sovereignty dealt with the lone supreme power of the unapproachable Truth. In contrast, the endeavor of law dealt with the lessor false powers of manipulation, or "necessary evil doing"

In the Old World, law, or what was legal, pertained to the long standing traditions of legal precedence. This amounted to chaos or the implementations of the law for the sake of law. Christianity altered these long standing traditions of the Old World by throwing off the corrupt authority of the emperorship and replacing that authority with the a Chosen Vessel the Apostle Paul and the Apostleship beneath him (The Chosen Vessel is the supreme authority over all other apostles and kings). In other words, the king and the royal family were sovereign in their authority because of scripture written in the New Testament by the supreme authority, the Chosen Vessel Apostle Paul. His commandment to obey governing authorities as sovereign are in Roman's chapter 13:

13 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.

While the sovereign power the royal family possessed was legal concerning Roman's 13, the king and the royal family were also sovereign by the blessing of the church. This explains the ceremony of the pope crowning the king. The pope, in turn, gets his authority through the authority of the Apostle Peter, supposedly the first pope of the catholic (universal) church.

I'm certain many in here will have opposing opinions, but just understand that such has nothing to do with what is rightful sovereign authority which pertains to God. After all, in putting Romans 13 in perspective, there did exist such evil as false authorities in the guise of false prophets, anti-christs, and so on. If we simply followed after every authority like sheep, then there wouldn't have been a reason to include the Book of Acts. The Book of Revelation is also a warning provided to us directly as Christ's divine prophecy.

Revelation 13:18: This calls for wisdom. Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. That number is 666

In that prophecy, we are told about an authority figure, a false principality and power, whose name John had coded as the number 666. Popular consent establishes that name to be Caesar Nero. As God was not against flesh and blood, and as it was Saul of Tarsus who was the most evil man to ever live, then the anti-christ was not the person Nero, but the designated authority of emperor in general. As kings ruled over kingdoms, these emperors ruled as war mongers over a world of kingdoms. As kings were symbiotic, there emperors were parasitic propagating their authority over others by destruction and fear.

I say the person Saul of Tarsus was the most evil person to ever live because he was the one who offended the Holy Spirit:

Mark 3:28: I promise you that any of the sinful things you say or do can be forgiven, no matter how terrible those things are. 29 But if you speak against the Holy Spirit, you can never be forgiven. That sin will be held against you forever.

This has spiritual significance however as God put the evil Saul to death by way of transforming him into the chosen vessel Apostle Paul.

What Sir Robert Filmor and others were to the royal family, so Saul of Tarsus and others similar to him were to the corrupt emperorsUncle Emanuel Watkins (talk)Uncle Emanuel Watkins — Preceding undated comment added 19:33, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

An unclear sentence[edit]

This sentence: "Jean-Jacques Rousseau's (1712–1778) definition of popular sovereignty (with early antecedents in Francisco Suárez's theory of the origin of power), which only differs in that he considers the people to be the legitimate sovereign." ... has a couple of issues: 1) It's not a complete sentence. 2) Only differs from what? From Suárez, or Hobbes? (talk) 15:44, 19 January 2015 (UTC)

I tried to clean it up a bit. Because of the awkward wording it's a bit difficult to understand what the meaning is supposed to be. Famspear (talk) 22:08, 19 January 2015 (UTC)

Tacky tack-on[edit]

Derived from Latin through French souveraineté, its attainment and retention, in both Chinese and Western culture, has traditionally been associated with certain moral imperatives upon any claimant.

Little or no relationship between the bold part and the non-bold part. I've never liked this grammatical device, even though it's heavily used in journalism. — MaxEnt 06:32, 8 December 2016 (UTC)

Processes for recognizing sovereign nations[edit]

Would it make sense to add a section on how different nations' governments handle the process of recognizing a new sovereign nation? Which branch of government has the responsibility, etc.? --Jim Henry (talk) 15:16, 18 February 2017 (UTC)