An academic’s analysis of the changing nature of political sovereignty, observed through the lens of the development of the European Union.
This debut work of political theory is Inocencio’s doctoral thesis, in which he explores the evolving concepts of sovereignty and federalism in a political context through the formation of the European Union and the Treaty of Lisbon. Inocencio draws on both theory, including the Bodinian and Althusian traditions of understanding state sovereignty, and history as he explores how the Treaty of Westphalia and subsequent accords shaped the concept of sovereign states and led to the political framework that exists in present-day Europe. Selected legal cases resolved under international law provide evidence for the evolution of European political theory, particularly in the last half-century. Subsequent chapters expand on the role of institutions in political systems, the concept of federalism, sovereignty within the framework of the European Union, and the new ways in which sovereignty is conceptualized by modern nations and institutions. Inocencio’s arguments are well-supported by citations from existing literature in political science and history. The book follows the structure of a thesis, beginning with an introduction that sets out the arguments and structure, in which chapters are divided into numbered and nested sections, and footnotes often take up a larger portion of the page than the body text does. The prose is often dense: “Thus the concept of sovereignty in the Versailles system should be seen in the framework of the foundational rules of the system; consequently, an absolute definition of sovereignty was untenable.” This is an academic work, one that will find a limited audience among the general public but one that draws on and encapsulates a substantial base of work in the field and that may prove valuable to other researchers in the realm of political science.
A complex, thoroughly researched exploration of the changing nature of sovereignty in modern Europe that is more appropriate for a specialist audience than for the general reader.