Sovereignty: A Global Perspective#

29–30 April 2019, University of St Andrews, United Kingdom

Event website#

Sovereignty has been at the heart of political philosophy for centuries, and yet it is far from clear what work sovereignty is actually doing in the modern world. Is sovereignty indivisible? Why are some international interventions acceptable but others condemned or resented? Is sovereignty always popular? What role does sovereignty have in a world of international finance, global information exchange, and supranational regulation? Is sovereignty only relevant to some parts of the world or of global relevance?

This conference will place the intellectual roots of sovereignty in a conversation with sociological theory and the realities of a globalised world to create a broader context for our contemporary debates.

This is part of the 2019 programme of British Academy Conferences.


Professor Christopher Smith
Professor John Hudson FBA

Speakers include:#

Professor V. Arena, UCL
Dr. F. Costa Buranelli, St Andrews
Professor J. Ferguson, St Andrews
Professor J. Fontein, Johannesburg
Professor L. Habberstad, Oregon
Professor D. Hammer, Franklin and Marshall College
Professor E. Isayev, Exeter
Dr. C. Jones, St Andrews
Professor S. Legg, Nottingham
Professor C. Lundgreen, Dresden University
Professor H. Rosa, Erfurt
Dr A. Russell, Durham
Professor L. Stonebridge, Birmingham
Professor A. Sun, Kenyon College
Dr. M. Somos, Heidelberg
Dr. T. St John, St Andrews
Dr. N. Tocci, Istituto Affari Internazionali

Summary of the conference#

The conference was opened by Principal and Vice-Chancellor of St Andrews University, Professor Sally Mapstone, and Cabinet Secretary, Fiona Hyslop, MSP, underpinning the significance of the topic in contemporary politics. Fifty delegates from four continents considered sovereignty across time and space. Themes included classical antiquity, China and Central Asia from antiquity to now, exile and refugees, and global financial markets. The conference included keynote lectures from Professor Richard Whatmore (St Andrews) and Professor Hartmut Rosa (Jena/Erfurt), with a response by Professor Christopher Smith and Professor Lyndsey Stonebridge.

Plans are already underway for publication in the prestigious British Academy conference series.

Conference organiser Professor Christopher Smith said,

"This event was only possible through the support of the Academia Europaea and the British Academy, and demonstrated the huge significance of the Curien Fund for inspiring high quality policy-relevant research."

Professor Christopher Smith
Professor Christopher Smith

More information can be found on the conference website and the University of St Andrews website. This conference was part of the 2019 programme of British Academy Conferences.




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