States, sovereignty, borders and self-determination in Europe

Michael Keating*, Jacint Jordana, Axel Marx, Jan Wouters

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Citations (Scopus)


The nation-state has been seen a bounded territory in which are a system of government, a political identity, a common culture and language, a national economy and a civil society. The nation-state has also been the basis for civil and political rights and representative democracy and for welfare. According to the principle of national sovereignty, the nation-state recognized so superior authority. This was never more than an ideal type. In recent years functional systems, representation, identities and institutions have rescaled to new levels. Understandings of territory have moved from seeing it as bounded space to a more relational concept, in which territory has multiple meanings. Challenges to state sovereignty have come from above and below. Some of these are about creating new sovereign units but attention has turned to ‘post-sovereigntist’ ideas about divided and shared authority. This provides a new context for self-determination claims but does not point to a definitive outcome. Territory, nationality, statehood and borders remain contested.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChanging Borders in Europe
Subtitle of host publicationExploring the Dynamics of Integration, Differentiation and Self-Determination in the European Union
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9780429959721
ISBN (Print)9781138588820
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jan 2019


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