Why Is the Concept of Sovereignty so Problematic

''Why is the concept of sovereignty so problematic?''

The definition of a state in its most simple form is a territory with a permanent population and a government which has both internal and external sovereignty. Sovereignty in itself is problematic though as there are so many different types of it, the most simple definition of sovereignty is ultimate power, for example when we in the UK say ''Parliament is sovereign'' what we really mean is there is no higher body than parliament, as parliament has the ultimate power. In reality though sovereignty is much more difficult to define.

One of the more specific forms, which falls under larger banner of sovereignty is that of pooled sovereignty. Pooled sovereignty in its simplest form is defined as a state giving away some of its own sovereignty to have more power as part of a collective. An example of this in action would be a small country such as Malta joining the EU. Malta on its own is a very small country and arguably lacks clout on the world stage, however when Malta joins with its neighbours and is incorporated into the European Union its power is greatly increased. This is the view point expressed by the group of people that are very pro europe, they are known as Europhiles.

Not all people agree with with the idea of Pooled Sovereignty. The Eurosceptic view point is based on the idea of Zero-sum sovereignty, where national sovereignty is expressed as a finite amount, and when you give some away, for example by joining the EU you then have less as a state.

The zero-sum / pooled sovereignty debate has arisen as part of EU expansion, with those on the political left arguing the case for pooled sovereignty and those on the right arguing the case for zero-sum. The argument reflects the changing attitudes due to the more interconnected world in which we now live. In the past, for example in the 18th and 19th century the concept of nationalism, where a state is completely independent and should only look...