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William Howard Taft

International Law

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Who Is The "Sovereign" In Sovereign Debt?: Reinterpreting A Rule-Of-Law Framework From The Early Twentieth Century, Odette Lienau Dec 2014

Who Is The "Sovereign" In Sovereign Debt?: Reinterpreting A Rule-Of-Law Framework From The Early Twentieth Century, Odette Lienau

Odette Lienau

Combining legal interpretation with political science analysis, this Article highlights the competing "statist" and "popular" conceptions of sovereignty at stake in sovereign debt issues. It argues that these two dominant approaches do not exhaust the offerings of intellectual history and considers an alternative approach that emerged in the early twentieth century and may be of relevance again today. The Article contends that U.S. Chief Justice Taft's foundational 1923 "Tinoco" decision, which grounds the current approach to sovereign governmental recognition, has been misinterpreted to support a purely statist or absolutist conception of sovereignty. It argues that a proper interpretation presents an …