and the New executive Authority

April 19 -
 20, 2013

The Conference

The concept of sovereignty is the core attribute of the modern state. It has an “inside” face—the relation of the state to its citizens—and an “outside” face—the relation of states to other states. With regard to the inside face, when the concept first emerged in Seventeenth Century Europe, it imported a reconceptualization of state authority, and was accompanied by a transformation in the understanding of the relationship between individuals and political authority

In today’s politics, where concerns about national security dominate public policy debate, the concept of sovereignty is once more under reassessment. The expansion of executive authority in times of emergency has been a central theme of republican defense of the interrogation tactics of the Bush Administration. It has also, however, been an important component in justifying the legitimacy of drone strikes under Obama. The following questions suggest themselves as ripe for reexamination in light of changing conceptions of sovereignty:

How does the rise of powerful, organized terrorist groups affect the claims to sovereignty of a state? For instance, if a state harbors aggressive groups within their territory, can those under threat violate sovereignty to take action against the threat? And what standards are appropriate for judging when, if ever, such an attack would be proper?

What are appropriate limitations on national security initiatives on foreign territory? For example, is unauthorized drone activity in a territory a violation of sovereignty? Is it proper for a government to authorize foreign operations within their territory without the knowledge of the people of that country?

When war expands past any territorial boundaries, does the concept of sovereignty still play a role? Do governments have claims to sovereignty in cyberspace?

How ought we to reconcile national security with the concept of international law enforcement? Does the idea that all states are sovereign relative to one another force all efforts to protect against attacks into the domain of the Law of Armed Conflict? Can international law enforcement supply an alternative to the militarization of the effort to combat terrorism?

Sovereignty and the New Executive Authority will address these and other questions in an interdisciplinary discussion among scholars from different backgrounds, as well unite theoretical and practical perspectives.


9:30 – 10:00 a.m.Breakfast
Shuster Room, Silverman 147
10:00 – 11:30 a.m.Session 1: The Concept of Sovereignty
Shuster Room, Silverman 147

Moderator: Claire Finkelstein

Readings: Christopher Morris, “Sovereignty,” Encyclopedia of Utilitarianism, edited by James E. Crimmins and Douglas G. Long. London and New York: Continuum Press, forthcoming.Christopher Morris, “The Modern State,” The Handbook on Political Theory, edited by Gerald Gaus and Chandran Kukathas. London: Sage Publications, 2004, pp. 198-209.Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, ed. Edwin Curley. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 1994. Chapters 18, 21, and 28Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract, trans. and ed. Donald A. Cress. Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 2011. (Excerpted: Book I, Chapter 7.)David Gauthier, Notes on Sovereignty. [Abstract]Claire Finkelstein, “Rational Contractarianism and International Law.” (Excerpted) [Paper]
11:30 a.m. – Noon Break
Noon – 1:30 p.m.Session 2: Sovereignty, Religion and the Rule of Law
Shuster Room, Silverman 147

Moderator: Sharon Lloyd

Readings:Sanford Levinson, “Divided Loyalties: The Problem of Dual Sovereignty and Constitutional Faith.” [Paper]David Linnan, “Sovereignty and Legitimacy in the Rule of Law Equation.” [Abstract] [Paper]Rudy Barnes, “Religion, the Rule of Law and Military Legitimacy.” [Abstract] [Paper].
1:30 – 2:30 p.m.Lunch
Levy Conference Room, Silverman 245

Keynote Address: Jeffrey Addicott
“Addressing the War on Terror Under the Rule of Law.” [Abstract]
2:30 – 4:00 p.m.Session 3: Sovereignty and Emergency Powers
Shuster Room, Silverman 147

Moderator: Kermit Roosevelt

Readings:Eric Posner and Adrian Vermeule, Terror in the Balance: Security, Liberty and the Courts, “Introduction,” Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007.Memorandum for Alberto R. Gonzales, Counsel to the President, August 1, 2002 (written by John Yoo, signed by Jay Bybee) (Excerpted)John Yoo, “The Continuation of Politics by Other Means,” California Law Review, Vol. 84, March 1996, No. 2. (Excerpted, pp. 241-256, 295-305)John Yoo, War by Other Means, Atlantic Monthly Press, 2006. (Excerpted, pp 52-64)Janet Alexander, “John Yoo’s War Powers: The Law Review and the World,” California Law Review, April 2012, Centenial Tribute Issue. (Excerpted, pp. 338-343, 347-352, 363-364)Glenn Sulmasy and John Yoo “Challenges to Civilian Control of the Military: A Rational Choice Approach to the War on Terror,”  UCLA Law Review, Vol. 54, Aug 2007, No. 6.Alexander Guerrero, “National Insecurity: Democracy, War, and Popular Sovereignty.” [Abstract] [Paper]
4:00 – 5:00 p.m.Break
5:00 – 6:30 p.m.Session 4: Sovereignty and Foreign Relations
The Racquet Club of Philadelphia
215 South 16th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102

Moderator: Rogers Smith

Readings:Sharon Anderson-Gold, “Terrorism and the Politics of Human Rights,” Social Philosophy Today, 2004.Christopher Wellman, “Taking Human Rights Seriously,” Journal of Political Philosophy, 2012, (Excerpted, pp. 126-130.)Jens Ohlin, “Disentangling the Unwilling or Unable Standard for Foreign Intervention.” [Abstract]Kevin Govern, “Smart Power For Hard Problems: The Role of Special Operations Forces Strengthening the Rule of Law and Human Rights in Africa.” [Abstract] [Paper]
6:30 pmDrinks and Dinner
The Racquet Club of Philadelphia
215 South 16th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102
Keynote Address: Mary Ellen O’Connell
“Sovereign Myths.” [Abstract]
8:30 – 9:00 a.m.Breakfast
Shuster Room, Silverman 147
9:00 – 10:30 a.m.Session 5: Executive Discretion, Secrecy and Targeted Killing: The Case of Anwar al-Awlaki
Shuster Room, Silverman 147

Moderator: Kevin Govern

Readings:Nasser al-Aulaqi v. Obama, Gates and Panetta, Complaint and Decision of the D.C. Circuit (2010), (Excerpted.) [Complaint ] [D.C. Circuit Decision (Excerpted, pp. 1-4, 49-65, 80-83)]Department of Justice White Paper, Lawfulness of a Lethal Operation Directed Against a U.S. Citizen Who is a Senior Operational Leader of Al’Qa’ida or An Associated Force Claire Finkelstein, “Secrecy, Targeted Killing and the Rule of Law.” [Abstract]American Civil Liberties Union v. Central Intelligence Agency, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, Decided March 15, 2013.Jules Zacher, “Presidential Authority and Nuclear Weapons: Taking Back our Rights.”Glenn Sulmasy, “Executive Power: The Last Thirty Years,” University of Pennsylvania International Law Journal, Volume 30, Summer 2009, No. 4. 
10:30 – 11:00 a.m.Break
11:00 – 12:30 p.m.Session 6: Alternative Conceptions of Sovereignty
Shuster Room, Silverman 147

Moderator: Nancy Hirschmann

Readings:Thomas Pogge, “Cosmopolitanism and Sovereignty,” Ethics Vol. 103 No. 1 (1992). (Excerpted, pp. 57 – 71.)Anne-Marie Slaughter, “Disaggregated Sovereignty: Towards the Public Accountability of Global Government Networks,” Government & Opposition 2004, (Excerpted, pp.162-163, 174-190)Ekow Yankah, “The Sovereign and the Republic: A Republican View of Political Obligation.” [Abstract] [Paper]
12:30 – 2:00 p.m.Lunch
Keynote Address and Film
Levy Conference Room, Silverman 245Keynote Address: Peter Galison
“Secrecy and the Centralization of Power.”

Clips from Secrecy, A film by Peter Galison and Rob Moss (2008). Website
2:00 – 3:30 p.m.Session 7: Comparative and International Perspectives on Sovereignty
Shuster Room, Silverman 147

Moderator: Bill Burke-White

Readings:Matthew Lister, “Contract, Treaty, & Sovereignty.” [Abstract] [Paper]Gordon Smith, “Russian Exceptionalism: Putin’s Assertion of Sovereignty at Home and Abroad.” [Abstract] [Paper]

Additional Readings

Historical Sources/Articulations of Sovereignty

Christopher Morris, “Sovereignty” in Encyclopedia of Utilitarianism, edited by James E. Crimmins and Douglas G. Long  (London and New York: Continuum Press, forthcoming).

Christopher Morris, “Sovereignty” in Encyclopedia of Democratic Thought, edited by Paul Barry Clarke and Joe Foweraker (London & New York: Routledge, 2002), pp. 673-676.

Christopher Morris “The Very Idea of Popular Sovereignty: ‘We the People’ Reconsidered”, Social Philosophy & Policy 17, 1 (Winter 2000), 1-26.

Christopher Morris “The Modern State” in The Handbook on Political Theory, edited by Gerald Gaus and Chandran Kukathas (London: Sage Publications, 2004), pp. 195-209.

Dan Philpott, “Sovereignty” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (

Challenges to and defenses of traditional conceptions of sovereignty

Allen Buchanan “Political Legitimacy and Democracy,” Ethics, 2002

Steven G. Calabresi, Mark E. Berghausen & Skylar Albertson “The Rise and Fall of the Separation of Powers,” Northwestern University Law Review, 2012

Omar Dahbour “Advocating Sovereignty in an Age of Globalization,” Journal of Social Philosophy, 2006.

David Held “Law of States, Law of Peoples: Three Models of Sovereignty,” Legal Theory, 2002.

Bernd Krehoff “Legitimate Political Authority and Sovereignty: Why States Cannot Be the Whole Story,” Res Publica: A Journal of Legal and Social Philosophy, 2008.

Barak Mendelsohn “Sovereignty under Attack: The International Society Meets the Al Qaeda Network,” Review of International Studies, 200

Christopher Morris “The Very Idea of Popular Sovereignty: “We the People” Reconsidered,” Social Philosophy and Policy, 2000.

Thomas Pogge, Cosmopolitanism and Sovereignty, Ethics Vol. 103 No. 1 (1992)

Qerim R  Qerimi “The Real Face of the New World Order: Sovereignty and International Security in the Age of Globalization,” Politikon, 2004

Mathias Risse “What to Say about the State,” Social Theory and Practice: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal of Social Philosophy, 2006.

Brad R. Roth “The Enduring Significance of State Sovereignty,” Florida Law Review, 2004

Brad R. Roth “Coming to Terms with Ruthlessness: Sovereign Equality, Global Pluralism, and the Limits of International Criminal Justice,”Santa Clara Journal of International Law, 2010

Anne-Marie Slaughter “Disaggregated Sovereignty: Towards the Public Accountability of Global Government Networks,” Government & Opposition, 2004

Ann-Marie Slaughter “Sovereignty and Power in a Networked World Order,” Stanford Journal of International Law, 2004

Helen  Stacy “Relational Sovereignty,” American Society of Law International Proceedings, 2005

Marlene Wind “Challenging Sovereignty? The USA and the Establishment of the International Criminal Courtr,” Ethics and Global Politics, 2009.

Sovereignty and Warfare

Renée De Nevers “Sovereignty and Ethical Argument in the Struggle against State Sponsors of Terrorism,” Journal of Military Ethics, 2007.

Gerald Doppelt “Walzer’s Theory of Morality in International Relations,” Philosophy and Public Affairs, 1978.

Michael Dusche “Human Rights, Autonomy and National Sovereignty,” Ethical Perspectives: Journal of the European Ethics Network, 2000.

Anne-Marie Slaughter “War and Law in the 21st Century: Adapting to the Changing Face of Conflict,” Europe’s World, 2011

Michael WalzerPhilosophy and Public Affairs, 9 (September 1980): 209-229.

Sovereignty and territory

Anthony J. Colangelo “Constitutional Limits on Extraterritorial Jurisdiction: Terrorism and the Intersection of National andInternational Law,” 48 Harv. Int’l L. J. 121 (2007)

Stuart Elden “Contingent Sovereignty, Territorial Integrity and the Sanctity of Borders,” SAIS Review of International Affairs, 2006

Joan Fitzpatrick “Rendition and Transfer in the War Against Terrorism: Guantanamo and Beyond,”Loyola of Los Angeles International and Comparative Law Review, 2003

Anthony Messina “Pathways from September 11: Politics, Policy, and State Sovereignty in an Age of Terror,” Political Science & Politics, 2008

Richard Nicholson, “Functionalism’s Military Necessity Problem: Extraterritorial Habeas Corpus, Justice Kennedy, Boumediene V. Bush, and Al Maqaleh V. Gates,” Fordham Law Review December, 2012

Galia Rivlin, “Constitutions Beyond Borders: The Overlooked Practical Aspects of the Extraterritorial Question,” Boston University International Law Journal Spring 2012

Saskia Sassen “Bordering Capabilities Versus Borders: Implications for National Orders,” Michigan Journal of International Law, 2009

Frank M. Walsh “Rethinking Legality of Columbia’s Attack on the FARC in Ecuador: a New Paradigm for Balancing Territorial Integrity, Self-defense and the Duties of Sovereignty,” Pace International Law Review, 2009 

Emergency Powers of the Sovereign and John Yoo

Janet Cooper Alexander, “John Yoo’s War Powers: The Law Review and the World,” California Law Review April, 2012, Centennial Tribute Issue
Robert J. Delahunty and John Yoo “Executive Power v. International Law,” Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, 2007
Robert J. Delahunty and John C. Yoo, “The President’s Constitutional Authority to Conduct Military Operations Against Terrorist Organizations and the Nations that Harbor or Support Them,” Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, 2002

Vicki Divoll “The ‘Full Access Doctrine’: Congress’s Constitutional Entitlement to National Security Information from the Executive,” Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, 2011

Stephen M. Griffin, “A Bibliography of Executive Branch War Powers Opinions since 1950,” Tulane Law Review February, 2013

Sanford Levinson and Jack M. Balkin “Constitutional Dictatorship: Its Dangers and Its Design,” Minnesota Law Review, 2010

Jide Nzelibe and John Yoo “Rational War and Constitutional Design,” Yale Law Journal Symposium, 2006

John Yoo “George Washington and the Executive Power,” University of St. Thomas Journal of Law & Public Policy, 2010

John Yoo “Unitary, Executive or Both?” University of Chicago Law Review, 2009 

John Yoo “Andrew Jackson and Presidential Power,” Charleston Law Review, 2008

John Yoo “UN Wars, US War Powers,” Chicago Journal of International Law, 2000

John Yoo “Sounds of Sovereignty: Defining Federalism in the 1990s,” Indiana Law Review, 1998

John Yoo, “The Continuation of Politics by Other Means: The Original Understanding of War Powers,” California Law Review March, 1996

Sovereignty and human rights

Sharon Anderson-Gold “Terrorism and the Politics of Human Rights,” Social Philosophy Today, 2004.

Jovana Davidovic “Are Humanitarian Military Interventions Obligatory?” Journal of Applied Philosophy, 2008.

James Nickel “Is Today’s International Human Rights System a Global Governance Regime,” Journal of Ethics: An International Philosophical Review, 2002.

Christopher Wellman “Taking Human Rights Seriously,” Journal of Political Philosophy,  2012.


Laura Donohue “Federalism and the Battle over Counterterrorist Law: State Sovereignty, Criminal Law Enforcement, and National Security,” 25 Stud. Conflict & Terrorism 1 (2002)

Keith E. Whittington and Daniel P. Carpenter “Executive Power in American Institutional Development,” Perspective on Politics, 2003.

James R. Clapper, Statement for the Record: Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community, 2013.


Professor Jeffrey Addicott

St. Mary’s University

Mr. Bill Craven

Federal Systems

Ambassador Dell Dailey

Dell Dailey and Family

Professor Susan Dimock

York University


 Peter GalisonHarvard University

Professor David Gauthier

University of Pittsburgh

Professor Kevin Govern

Ave Maria School of Law

Professor Alex Guerrero

University of Pennsylvania

Professor Nancy Hirschmann

University of Pennsylvania

Professor Sanford Levinson

University of Texas School of Law

Professor David Linnan

University of South Carolina

Professor Matt Lister

University of Denver

Professor Sharon Lloyd

University of Southern California

Professor Duncan MacIntosh

Dalhousie University

Professor Christopher Morris

University of Maryland

Professor Mary Ellen O’Connell

University of Notre Dame Law School

Professor Jens Ohlin

Cornell University Law School

Professor Connie Rosati

University of Arizona

Dr. Harvey Rubin

University of Pennsylvania

Nicholas Saidel

University of Pennsylvania

Professor Gordon Smith

University of South Carolina

Professor Rogers Smith

University of Pennsylvania

Captain Glenn Sulmasy

United States Coast Guard Academy

Professor Keith Whittington

Princeton University

Professor Ekow Yankah

Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law

Mr. Jules Zacher


Professor Leo Zaibert

Union College

Conference Photos

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For any questions regarding the conference or registration, please contact: Jennifer Cohen at

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