One of the most difficult problems of modern political science is that of sovereignty. The commonly accepted theory contains many elements that seem to be in obvious contradiction to our ideals of democracy; some of them do not fit into the present-day conception of state and government, while others are plain remnants of feudalism and autocracy. One should keep in mind, however, that it is not only a purely theoretical problem closely associated with the general idea of the state, but that it is also an eminently practical one, as it necessarily involves the political question of limitations on the state's powers. Those limitations are of equal importance internally, in the relations between state and citizen, and externally, in the domain of international law.
As often happens in cases where political questions are involved, the theory of sovereignty has two extreme wings of proponents. On the one hand there are theorists who defend an all-powerful state and make of the idea of sovereignty the emblem and symbol of the all-powerful state authority. On the other hand, there have appeared recently many writers, who believe that dangers lurk in the views of the first-mentioned school and who are loath to admit that any power, state or personal, may be unlimited; they distrust the theory of sovereignty, because of its association with unlimited power; consequently, they deny the existence of sovereignty altogether, asserting that it has no place whatever in the modern theory of the state.