What is the relationship between human rights and the rights of states? Roughly, while cosmopolitans insist that international morality must regard as basic the interests of individuals, statists maintain that the state is of fundamental moral significance. This article defends a relational version of statism. Human rights are ultimately grounded in a relational norm of reciprocal independence and set limits to the exercise of public authority, but, contra the cosmopolitan, the state is of fundamental moral significance. A relational account promises to justify a limited conception of state sovereignty while avoiding the familiar cosmopolitan criticisms of statist accounts.