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Property, Power and PoliticsWhy We Need to Rethink the World Power System$
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Jean-Philippe Robé

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781529213164

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781529213164.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM POLICY PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.policypress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Policy Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PPSO for personal use.date: 28 May 2022

Sovereignty and Property

Sovereignty and Property

(p.107) 3 Sovereignty and Property
Property, Power and Politics

Jean-Philippe Robé

Policy Press

The Chapter deals with the relationship between the two concepts of sovereignty and property. It first addresses the thesis developed by North, Wallis and Weingast on the role of organized violence in the development of a modern, open access society. Their intuition is that the « limited access order » of the « natural state » in which personal relationships form the basis of social organization had to leave the way to an « open access order » in which impersonal categories of individuals interact. This is generally correct. But they neglected the role of law in the process and, in particular, the role of the development of constitutional modes of government. Via modern international law, starting in Europe in the middle of the seventeenth century, sovereignty was allocated among States. Via modern liberal constitutions, internal sovereignty was decentralized as a matter of principle to owners, who are decision-makers as a matter of principle towards the objects of property. The operations of political Organs of the State, of administrative Organs of the State and of law can usefully be viewed in this perspective.

Keywords:   Sovereignty, Property, North, Wallis and Weingast, Limited Access Order, Natural State, Open Access Order, Organs of the State

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