Sovereignty and Global Security

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Makinda, Samuel M. (1998) Sovereignty and Global Security , Security Dialogue 29(3): 281–292.

There has been no serious analysis of the mutual relationship between sovereignty and security. But the one cannot be realized without the other. Sovereignty revolves around population, territory, status and a recognized authority. Security is defined as the presentation of a society's practices, rules, institutions and values. Sovereignty has evolved to fit changing circumstances since the 1648 Peace of Westphalia, where it resided with government more than with civil society. Security has had to relate to the changing interpretation of sovereignty. Since World War II, government has been principally associated with territory and the norm of non-intervention. But the concept of absolute sovereignty has shifted in the face of trans-frontier, global demands for democracy and respect for human rights. The UN is in a dilemma in its role of the guardian of sovereignty as defined in the Charter and in its practices -- not least in peace-keeping operations. This constrains attempts to reconstruct sovereignty.