Share this
PREVIOUS ARTICLE ALL CONTENTS Next ARTICLE

Divided Sovereignty: International Institutions and the Limits of State Authority, Carmen Pavel

Reviewed by Steven P. Lee

BUY

 

Carmen Pavel argues in this excellent study that states are not by themselves sufficient to guarantee protection of basic human rights. In this sense, the state is, as she puts it, an incomplete institutional form. Therefore, it is appropriate to adopt a political system in which sovereignty is divided between states and international institutions, such as the International Criminal Court, whose purpose is to avoid states’ abusing their power by depriving their citizens of those rights. She conceives such a division of sovereignty as “an insurance scheme against the possibility that states may fail to fulfill their duties” to protect rights (p. 27). Such a division of sovereignty increases the probability that individuals will have their rights respected.

In addition to this substantive argument, Pavel makes an important methodological argument. Theorizing about justice is too often stuck at the abstract level. The work of theorists should embrace what Pavel calls institutional thinking, which includes the understanding of empirical social science on the effectiveness of institutions in human governance. Such an understanding is important not merely for the implementation of abstract moral ideals but for their formulation as well. Our theories must be sensitive to institutional facts. This leads her in a pragmatic direction. In the end, s

To continue reading, see options above.

About PSQ's Editor

Demetrios James Caraley

Full Access

Join the Academy of Political Science and automatically receive Political Science Quarterly.

Editor’s spotlight

Presidential Power and Impeachment

American Political Institutions after Watergate--A Discussion
DEMETRIOS CARALEY, CHARLES V. HAMILTON, ALPHEUS T. MASON, ROBERT A. McCAUGHEY, NELSON W. POLSBY, JEFFREY L. PRESSMAN, ARTHUR M. SCHLESINGER, JR., GEORGE L. SHERRY, AND TOM WICKER

Search the Archives

Publishing since 1886, PSQ is the most widely read and accessible scholarly journal with distinguished contributors such as: Lisa Anderson, Robert A. Dahl, Samuel P. Huntington, Robert Jervis, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Theda Skocpol, Woodrow Wilson

view additional issues

Most read

Articles | Book reviews

Understanding the Bush Doctrine
Robert Jervis

The Study of Administration
Woodrow Wilson

Notes on Roosevelt's "Quarantine" Speech
Dorothy Borg

view all

New APS Book

THE PROLIFERATION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS: Extending the U.S. Umbrella and Increasing Chances of War   THE PROLIFERATION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS: EXTENDING THE U.S. UMBRELLA AND INCREASING CHANCES OF WAR

CONFERENCES & EVENTS

Big Challenges for the 2020 U.S. Census
November 14, 2019
New York, NY

Members of the Academy of Political Science are invited to attend this timely panel discussion on the 2020 census.

MORE ABOUT THIS EVENT VIEW ALL EVENTS

About US

Academy of Political Science

The Academy of Political Science, promotes objective, scholarly analyses of political, social, and economic issues. Through its conferences and publications APS provides analysis and insight into both domestic and foreign policy issues.

Political Science Quarterly

With neither an ideological nor a partisan bias, PSQ looks at facts and analyzes data objectively to help readers understand what is really going on in national and world affairs.

Stay Connected

newsstand locator
About APS