The Problem of Sovereignty in Terms of Fundamental Rights and FreedomsJune 28, 2021
Sovereignty; It is related to the authority and will of a group or society to use power and is one of the basic conditions for the communities to maintain their common existence.
Sovereignty by definition; It refers to the power that makes the final decision in a group, society or country. Domination can be mentioned in individual relations, family and school. It is claimed that the supreme sovereignty over all sovereignty belongs to the state. However, the differences between state forms are not related to whether they are sovereign or not, but to the source, legitimacy and use of sovereignty.
Source and limits of sovereignty; Since humans lived in large communities, it has become a fundamental problem in tribal communities, city states, empires, theocratic states or republics. Various passages about the source and legitimacy of governments appear in the Epic of Gilgamesh in the 2000s BC, and in Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey in the 7th-8th centuries BC, and in sacred texts. Fârâbî’s work “The Virtuous City”, the writings and recommendations of Nizamülmülk in the Seljuks and Sheikh Edebali in the Ottomans are mainly about the legitimacy of the administration. The source of sovereignty has been sought in various elements such as nobility, wealth, sanctity, warfare, wisdom and justice.
With the beginning of the formation of modern states towards the end of the Middle Ages, it was discussed what the authorities and responsibilities of the citizens (the group, group and people that make up the nation) would be against the government and the governments against the citizens.
T. Hobbes, J. Locke and J. J. Roussesau tried to base the source of sovereignty on a kind of “contract”. The “Natural Law Doctrine”, which is also the basis of the US Declaration of Human Rights and the French Revolution, assumes the possession of innate rights and sees the protection of the fundamental rights and freedoms of the citizens as the basis of the legitimacy of the state. Authority or, in other words, legitimate power; depends not on oppression, power or fear, but on guaranteeing basic human rights and freedoms. The real owner of sovereignty is the people (citizen). “Sovereignty belongs to the nation unconditionally.” It states that first of all, the will and authority to legislate and control is in the parliament on behalf of the nation. Elected persons are also held responsible for exercising these powers within constitutional limits. This understanding corresponds to “representative democracy”.
In today’s democracies, there are various debates on how to develop rights and freedoms, how to eliminate poverty, how to solve the problems of sharing and justice, how to ensure social consent, whether free economy and elections are sufficient for this, whether the cultural and the universal conflict.
Compiled by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Atatürk University Department of Sociology Lecture Notes for Grade 1 “Introduction to Philosophy” and Grade 3 “History of Contemporary Philosophy” (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook