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Sovereignty is the right of a political entity to exercise power. Sovereignty vests in a government.

One can also refer to a monarch who rules a sovereign country as a sovereign.

Personal sovereignty and state sovereignty share the concept of supremacy within the geographic boundaries of that sovereignty, in contrast to any obligation to defer to a higher worldly authority.

In international law, the important concept of sovereignty refers to the exercise of power by a state. De jure sovereignty refers to the legal right to do so; de facto sovereignty the ability in fact to do so (which becomes of special concern upon the failure of the usual expectation that de jure and de facto sovereignty exist at the place and time of concern, and rest in the same organization).

Tribal sovereignty refers to the right of tribes or of federally recognized American Indian nations to exercise limited jurisdiction within and sometimes beyond reservation boundaries.

The etymology of the word sovereignty, with origins in the Latin super, conveys the idea of "overness".

In some regions of the world, such as Quebec, the word "sovereignty" has become the preferred synonym for national independence. Compare the Maori term rangatiratanga, and the concept of self-determination. r

Sovereignty and federalism

the other wat to cook the othersIn federal systems of government, such as that of the United States of America, sovereignty also refers to powers a state-government has independently of the federal government.

The question whether the individual states of the American Union remained sovereign became a matter of debate in the USA, especially in its first century:

Quotes from the 1911 Encyclopędia Britannica.

See also: colonization, globalization, plenary authority See also: concept of 'semi-sovereignty'.

Further Reading

Stephen D. Krasner. 1999. Sovereignty: Organized Hypocrisy. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

John Hickman and Everett Dolman. 2002. "Resurrecting the Space Age: A State-Centered Commentary on the Outer Space Regime." Comparative Strategy Vol. 21. No. 1, pp. 1-20.