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Justice and Natural ResourcesAn Egalitarian Theory$
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Chris Armstrong

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198702726

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198702726.001.0001

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Against Permanent Sovereignty

Against Permanent Sovereignty

(p.132) 6 Against Permanent Sovereignty
Justice and Natural Resources

Chris Armstrong

Oxford University Press

The status quo within international politics is that individual nation-states enjoy extensive and for the most part exclusive rights over the resources falling within their borders. Egalitarians have often assumed that such a situation cannot be defended, but perhaps some sophisticated defences of state or national rights over natural resources which have been made in recent years prove otherwise. This chapter critically assesses these various arguments, and shows that they are not sufficient to justify the institution of ‘permanent sovereignty’ over resources. Even insofar as those arguments have some weight, they are compatible with a significant dispersal of resource rights away from individual nation-states, both downwards towards local communities, and upwards towards transnational and global agencies.

Keywords:   nation-states, national self-determination, improvement, attachment, conservation, international law

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