The Caduceus of Modernity STATES, PIRATES, AND THE BATTLE FOR SOVEREIGNTY
Spisak, George A.
In the modern world, sovereignty provides the conceptual framework enabling states to interact and claim supremacy over all other social forms. It is sovereignty that allows all states to be nominally equal, while also exerting a claim to be the highest authority in their own territories. How sovereignty operates, and the changes it has undergone since the end of WWII, has remained occulted by theoretical treatments ignoring the emergence of new, non-state actors working with, through, and against states to share or usurp this power. Just as sovereignty must be split from the sovereign for clear analysis to obtain, so too must sovereign power be split from the state to observe the myriad dimensions of its exercise. This dissertation approaches sovereignty and sovereign power from the extremes, looking at the historical foil to sovereigns – pirates – and at the new project of global governance enacted in the wake of the second world war. I show that in several key dimensions sovereign power is being exercised in places away from states, by those who seek to remake sovereign power from the ground up as well as those seeking to govern states themselves. I find this happening in two places that have been the historical province of sovereigns: decisions on legal exceptions and when the normal operation of the law can be suspended, and boundary-setting decisions that encompass political/nonpolitical, waste/value, property/commons. Through the examples of Somali piracy, creation of wasteland, and nuclear nonproliferation I demonstrate the decentering of states in the international, and the simultaneous colocation of sovereign power “upwards” to supranational organizations and contestation of its movement “downwards” to substate entities
Nonproliferation; Piracy; Security; Somalia; Sovereignty; Wastelands
Grovogui, Siba N'Zatioula; Hassan, Salah
Ph. D., Development Sociology
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis