This article takes issue with the "weak state" and "hollowing out of the state" theses, which appear in recent literatures dealing with globalization. In order to analyze the nation state's contention with various actors concerning human rights and other issues, a conceptual distinction is suggested between state autonomy and capacity-defined as the state's ability to rationally posit objectives and to realize them-and state sovereignty, defined as the symbolic and discursive basis of the state's legitimate rule. Based on the constructivist perspective, which emphasizes the intersubjective character of the social world, and the role of knowledge and interpretation in any social conflict, we present three cases of objections to Israel's construction of a separation barrier on occupied Palestinian territories. These three cases exemplify the importance of the conceptual distinction between autonomy-capacity and sovereignty as two dimensions of domination and reveal a situation in which political struggles that effectively reduce state autonomy may actually increase its sovereignty.
|Number of pages||18|
|State||Published - 2009|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science