Thursday, 10 May 2018

Petra Gümplová is going to present a working paper on 'Popular Sovereignty over Natural Resources'

The article Popular Sovereignty over Natural Resources discusses the concept of popular sovereignty over natural resources and its possible applicability to a broader account of natural resource justice based on a moral interpretation of international law. Leif Wenar’s recent proposal to entrench popular resource sovereignty as a counterclaim to illegitimate uses of natural resources by corrupt and authoritarian regimes serves as the starting point for the discussion of the possible meaning of popular resource sovereignty and its role in an account of natural resource justice. Three key aspects of Wenar’s conception are in focus: 1) the framing of popular resource sovereignty within the current system of sovereign territoriality, 2) the notion of collective ownership of natural resources as the content of popular resource sovereignty, and 3) civil and political rights as the key set of norms determining the conditions of legitimate exercise of resource sovereignty. The article argues that collective sovereignty claims over natural resources can neither be framed exclusively through boundaries of current sovereign states, nor understood in terms of full and unlimited property rights. Concerning civil and political rights, I argue we need to move past the liberal conception of legitimacy toward a more comprehensive human rights-based conception of justice serving as a standard for assessment of legitimacy of both sovereign and non-sovereign entities which have rights over natural resources.

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