Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal

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The concept of sovereignty plays a major role in discussions around e.g. humanitarian intervention or the relationship between European Union and Member States – but what does “sovereignty” really mean? This dissertation develops four definitions of “sovereignty”. These allow for much clearer talk about issues surrounding sovereignty. The concepts are internal constitutive, internal constituted, external constitutive and external constituted sovereignty. Constitutive sovereignty describes an extra-legal power of peoples or international actors; constituted sovereignty is a status assigned to entities by law. A clearer understanding of the different meanings of sovereignty will entangle discussions and introduces precision in political and legal discourse.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Hage, Jaap, Supervisor
  • Heringa, Aalt Willem, Supervisor
Award date28 Apr 2016
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • popular sovereignty
  • state sovereignty
  • constitutional theory
  • international legal theory
  • international relations
  • (transfer of) competences


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