• Summary
  • Contents

Key Concepts in Governance provides a clear introduction to the technical concepts and policies of contemporary governance through short definitional essays. Each entry features a snapshot definition of the concept, a contextualization of the concept,  an overview of relevant debates, and a guide to further reading. The book also includes a substantial introductory chapter which gives an overview of governance studies as a whole, orientating and guiding the reader around the issues that the concepts address. 


Sovereignty is the exclusive authority that a state has within its territorial boundaries. Generally, sovereignty acts as a legitimizing concept: we ascribe authority and legitimacy to whoever is deemed to hold it. Effective sovereignty thus comes in large part from the recognition of legitimacy by at least some actors within and outside the given territory.

As well as being a legitimizing concept, sovereignty has both domestic and international dimensions. Domestically, sovereignty regulates all of the relationships between the ‘rulers’ and ‘ruled’ within a given territory. Internationally, sovereignty dictates the relationships of states to one another and the norms that govern their treatment of one another. Both of these aspects of sovereignty are thus closely tied to the concept of the state.

A sovereign state is one that ...

locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles