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Who has rights to rule over what and why? The concept of sovereignty has been at the heart of Western political philosophy since the wars of religion. Jean Bodin tries to justify an indivisible, God-given right to rule by the monarch, while Thomas Hobbes naturalises the notion of absolute rule by his argument that absolute sovereignty is the only way to protect society from the "war of all against all". But should the recognition of limits to growth change our concept of sovereignty? Should nature be sovereign? Future generations? Other living things? And if so, what are the political institutions that can make these new sovereigns felt?

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Author: Tony Curzon-Price