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UN Resolution 1514: the creation of a new post-colonial sovereignty

Basu Mellish, Jack (2023) UN Resolution 1514: the creation of a new post-colonial sovereignty. Third World Quarterly. ISSN 0143-6597

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Identification Number: 10.1080/01436597.2023.2180355


What role did the post-colonial world play in shaping the contemporary norm of sovereignty? Challenging the traditional understanding of the development of sovereignty as a norm that expanded from Europe, this article recentres the post-colonial contribution to the development of sovereignty. This article first presents the Western powers’ understanding of the norms of sovereign recognition in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, before outlining the post-colonial states’ efforts to develop new norms in favour of equal sovereignty for the post-colonial world. It does this first by analysing the contribution of the post-colonial world in the shaping of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and how these normative documents were taken up by the post-colonial world to argue for an end of colonial rule. It then provides a history of the normative ideas developed in the post-colonial world in the 1950s, expressed at the Bandung conference (1955) before being normalised into our contemporary understanding of international sovereignty through the passage of United Nations Resolution 1514: The Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples in 1960. This work addresses the radical disjunctures and enduring continuations between ideas of sovereignty in the colonial and post-colonial eras of international relations.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author.
Divisions: International Relations
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
Date Deposited: 14 Feb 2023 10:48
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2023 07:30

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