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Historical Comparison of Sovereignty in International Law

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The current article aims to study on the concept of sovereignty in international law. To this end, sovereignty is historically examined and compared in different legal doctrines. In fact, there is a verity of legal theories on the formulation and conceptualization of sovereignty. The dominant perspective of the contemporary legal doctrines sees sovereignty as wornout and outdated concept which belongs to classical legal doctrines. This article argues such accounts and shows how the concept of sovereignty survived through historically legal developments and has still been influential in the sphere of international law. Although the main legal events comprising Westphalian truce, world wars, the foundation of United Nation organization and so on have changed the nature and content of sovereignty in the history of international law, it has remained as a fundamental principle of international law. The lack of correct understanding of this concept can reinforce the obstacles for legal modeling and doctrines. So, through such a historical comparison, the research elaborates the reconceptualization process in the concept of sovereignty and elucidates how sovereignty means in the contemporary international law and how this concept defined by the modern legal doctrine influences international law and globally affects the legal order among states. Discussing the different legal doctrines on the concept of sovereignty in different historical periods, the article reveals the present considerations on sovereignty in contemporary international law.

About the Author

Louise Kazemi Shariat Panahi
Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia
Russian Federation

Louise Kazemi Shariat Panahi  – Postgraduate Student, International Law Department, Law Institute

6 Miklukho-Maklaya St., Moscow, 117198


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For citation:

Panahi L. Historical Comparison of Sovereignty in International Law. Russian Law Journal. 2021;9(4):128-157.

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ISSN 2309-8678 (Print)
ISSN 2312-3605 (Online)