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Sovereignty and the Stateless Nation

Gibraltar in the Modern Legal Context

By: Keith Azopardi
Media of Sovereignty and the Stateless Nation
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Published: 06-10-2009
Format: PDF eBook (?)
Edition: 1st
Extent: 456
ISBN: 9781847315427
Imprint: Hart Publishing
Series: Studies in International Law
RRP: £85.50
Online price : £51.30
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Loren Epson

About Sovereignty and the Stateless Nation

Gibraltar is an Overseas Territory of the UK within the EU, which has for three centuries been at the centre of a dispute between Britain and Spain, a dispute based on traditional perceptions of sovereignty. Hitherto the dispute has been managed in a predominantly bilateral way, but this has prevented the people of Gibraltar having an equal say on the issue of Gibraltar's sovereignty and decolonisation. It has produced a paradox of governance and constitutionalism that encases the Gibraltar people. This book considers the effects of sovereignty and the culture of bilateralism on the dispute, and examines the resulting deficits of governance and democracy. In assessing the evolution of the themes underlying the dispute it asks how its resolution might be facilitated by the application of ideas drawn from the modern legal context of late sovereignty, pluralism and stateless nationalism, suggesting that a productive trilateral approach and recognition of the legal and societal context could enable an enduring settlement.

The author marries theories from international relations, constitutional law and public international law in the context of modern literature on sovereignty and nationalism, applying these theories to the case-study of Gibraltar with emphasis on constitutionalism in its international and EU context to produce a ground-breaking addition to the literature on stateless nationalism, late sovereignty and constitutional pluralism. As such it also complements recent studies of sub-state societies, regions or nations within Europe and elsewhere, including Catalunya, the Basque Country and Scotland and Wales, and in the broader Commonwealth context, other British overseas territories.

This book will be of interest to lawyers, political scientists, constitutional historians and constitutionalists.

Table Of Contents

Foreword (by Stephen Tierney, Professor of Constitutional Theory,
University of Edinburgh)
Introduction-Between Three Flags: Constitution, Status,
Governance and Sovereignty in Gibraltar
1-From Strategic Gain to Fortress Colony to 'The Right to Our Land'
2-Changing Landscapes-Sovereignty, Status and Governance
by 1986 and their Convergence onto the European Stage
3-Sovereignty, State and Stateless Nation
4-'The Sensitivity of the Underlying Bilateral Issue': Bilateralism
and the Governance Deficit 1986–2004
5-Sub-state Power, Representation and Influence, and the Zenith of
6-Negotiating a Way through the Mist-Old Concepts,
New Meanings.
7-Making Advances-Power, Influence and Representation within
the European Dimension and the Status Dilemma
Conclusion-Sovereign within Spheres of Influence


“Sovereignty and the Stateless Nation ... is a forward-thinking, historically-grounded treatise which proposes progressive notions of participatory democracy at the same time as respecting traditional notions of territorial sovereignty. That Azopardi's idealism is tempered by realism is symptomatic of an individual who has traversed the world of both law and politics and, for this reason, deserves his work to be read by lawyers and politicians alike.” –  Lee P. Ruddin, The Law and Politics Book Review, Volume 21, Number 7

“Anyone interested in issues of sub-State governance will benefit from reading this book. For those with a particular interest in the legal status of Gibraltar it is essential reading.” –  Jamie Trinidad, The Cambridge Law Journal, Volume 70, Part 1

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