1. Exquisite Tweets from @djmgaffneyw4

    PreoccupationsCollected by Preoccupations

    I think this over-capacious usage of the term 'sovereignty' (in this case by Draghi, but it's endemic in contemporary political discourse) is part of the problem, not the solution. ecb.europa.eu/press/key/date…

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    Declan Gaffney

    'True sovereignty is reflected not in the power of making laws'... well fine, except that in a tradition dating back 400 years, sovereignty has been identified precisely as the power to make law (Bodin, Hobbes, Rousseau).

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    djmgaffneyw4

    Declan Gaffney

    I'm not saying that is the only way to define sovereignty. There are other theories: using Weber's 'monopoly of legitimate violence' or that creep Schmitt's 'power to declare a state of exception'.

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    Declan Gaffney

    But to define sovereignty in terms of the ability to control outcomes is not a theory of sovereignty at all, as it fails to distinguish between sovereignty and the broader concept of power.

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    Declan Gaffney

    If you think sovereignty is a defining attribute of states (what would its point be if it wasn't?), identifying it with a general power to control outcomes has unfortunate consequences. Less powerful states would be less sovereign: are they really states at all?

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    Declan Gaffney

    FWIW I think it is possible to give an account of European integration & its legitimacy without stretching the concept of sovereignty to the point where it becomes conceptually useless.

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    Declan Gaffney

    Not entirely a fiction, though certainly a construction. But a much thinner concept than the contemporary discourse would lead you to believe (which doesn't mean it's not important).

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    Declan Gaffney

    Meanwhile nothing could be more useful to the cause of sovereigntists than treating sovereignty as a synonym of national power. As a glance at what's going on in the UK should show.

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    djmgaffneyw4

    Declan Gaffney