Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics

2019 Edition
| Editors: David M. Kaplan

Food and Agricultural Trade and National Sovereignty

  • E. Wesley F. PetersonEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1179-9_422



National sovereignty is a contested concept. Some see the evolution of the world order since the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 toward a system of sovereign nation states each with “supreme authority” over a particular territory as central to the protection of national identities and the maintenance of peace between peoples naturally inclined toward conflict (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 2010). Singer, on the other hand, does not see national sovereignty as absolute and argues that it “has no intrinsic moral weight” (Singer 2004, page 2). Respect for national sovereignty may be considered a grave error permitting governments to suppress opposition to their actions or to persecute people who subscribe to different religions or are members of different ethnic groups. In the aftermath of the atrocities of World War II, the international human rights movement has sought to circumscribe the ability of states to violate human rights...

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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Agricultural EconomicsUniversity of Nebraska-LincolnLincolnUSA