Reply to My Critics

Anna Stilz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This essay replies to three critics of my book Territorial Sovereignty: A Philosophical Exploration. First, in response to Kit Wellman, I defend the claim that states sometimes have a right against external interference even when their decisions depart from the requirements of social justice. This right to do wrong is grounded in respect for a legitimate procedure of collective self-determination, in which the state's members have an important interest. Second, I reply to Michael Blake's concern that there is an inconsistency in my treatment of people's actual wills in politics. I clarify that my view places weight on the actual wills only of cooperators (a technical term), and that cooperators' actual wills matter because they have claims against alien rule. There is no inconsistency in treating political annexation differently from immigration since immigrants rarely threaten to impose alien rule on cooperators. Finally, I address Adom Getachew's concerns about the imperial dimensions of the states system, arguing that my book contains resources for theorizing remedial claims to land in settler colonial societies and other reparative duties of global justice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)527-541
Number of pages15
JournalEthics and International Affairs
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy
  • Political Science and International Relations


  • colonialism
  • immigration
  • legitimacy
  • self-determination
  • territory


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