Global Governance: Sovereignty Reinvented in The Context of Territorial Claims

Prof. Catherine Mackenzie
Member of Faculty of Law and Director of Studies at Homerton College
Chairman of the Board of Scrutiny – University of Cambridge – UK


This paper examines recent developments in the area of sovereignty and territorial claims and in the light of competing and apparently irreconcilable territorial claims both in the Middle East and other areas of the world, proposes a treaty-based regime in which the existing claims of sovereign states are recognized but are not, for the duration of the treaty regime, implemented.
This enables vital inter-state co-operation to develop in key areas of law (e.g. trade, public health, customs, cyber-security) without negating the existing claims of competing states.
Notwithstanding the conceptual limitations of this approach (often described as “sovereignty-lite”), in practical terms it may offer a path forward based on stable (albeit incomplete) regimes and effective inter-state co-operation.
This paper suggests that such an approach would be most effective in regions with shared geographies, histories and/or cultures, such as the GCC.

Keywords: sovereignty, territorial claim, Westphalia,

Read Full PDF Text (English)