The State of Sovereignty examines how it came to pass that the
nation-state became the prevailing form of governance in the world today. Spanning
the 19th and 20th centuries and addressing colonization and decolonization around
the globe, these essays argue that sovereignty is a set of historically contingent
practices, and not something that accrues naturally to states. The contributors
explore the different ways in which sovereign political forms have been defined and
have defined themselves, placing recent debates about nations and national identity
within a broader history of sovereignty, territory, and legality.