Unbundling Sovereign Rights through Incomplete Contracting

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter contends that sovereignty should be conceived as a bundle of rights. Within this bundle of rights the final locus of jurisdiction is critical. Indeed, it is that very criterion that defines sovereignty. The question of how robust state sovereignty is today comes down to the question: who at the end of the day has the ultimate right to decide? Due to incomplete contracting between the member states of the European Union, the delegation of some sovereign rights to the supranational level has been inevitable. Institutional changes to address the post-2008 fiscal crisis mark a further, and critical, shift in adjudicatory competencies. This shift will affect national autonomy in economic and regulatory policy and lead to the re-scaling of the state and the decoupling of state and society. This transfer of sovereign rights de-territorializes authority and exacerbates the democratic deficit, thus favouring transnational technocracies.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationReconfiguring European States in Crisis
EditorsDesmond King, Patrick Le Gales
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Print)9780198793373
StatePublished - 2017


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