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Chapter 7 discusses the conceptual and historiographical implications of the analysis of consuls in Chapter 5 and of the jurisdictional practices of accumulation in Chapter 6. Exploring different meanings of jurisdiction for the doctrine of the law of nations in Castile and for England’s famous Calvin’s Case reveals the importance of the difference between transplants and transports of authority as shaped by different notions of dominium. In effect, transplants of authority refer to notions of dominium that incorporate both ownership of things and people and rule or judicial authority over things and people. In contrast, transports of authority refer to a more restricted notion of dominium focused on the ownership of things, or what some might identify as private property. Finally, in the Mediterranean, jurisdictional accumulation reveals how early modern consuls, as the most significant and neglected of jurisdictional actors, were shaping key legal fictions (political–economic and Christian–non-Christian) that were maintained in the later-nineteenth-century’s construction of modern international law, and which contributed to excluding peoples from the standards of civilisation.
Chapters 8 and 9 of On the Citizen present a theory of sovereignty that Hobbes modeled on the master-slave relationship of dominium. To be a sovereign over a state, according to that theory, is really to be a kind of dominus over slaves. The usual view (based on Leviathan, chapter 20) is that this “despotic” form of sovereignty was limited only to those states described by Hobbes as “natural” or “acquired.” This chapter, however, argues that the despotic model of dominium in alterius personam functioned as a general theory of sovereignty to be found in all sovereign states, even in those states instituted, as Hobbes put it, “by mutual pact.” Indeed, the Hobbesian distinction between “instituted” and “acquired” states was not really a difference in the substance of sovereignty. Rather, it was only a difference in how sovereignty was to be constituted and dissolved. The chapter shows that it was originally intended to map onto the Aristotelian distinction between “correct” and “deviant” constitutions. However a state is constituted, Hobbes’s larger point was that statehood always requires dominium, since it is what ultimately activates the bond of obligation making a state more than just a mere association of duty-free individuals.
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