How can the international community respond to states that fail to respect fundamental rules of international law? Does a state that collapses into anarchy lose its sovereignty? Does the increasingly important role of non-state actors at the international level diminish the role of sovereignstates in international law? Is it possible to design more speedy and effective decision-making procedures to deal with global problems? Finding answers to these questions requires a reconsideration of what constitutes the core of present-day international law. State sovereignty has always been regarded as the backbone of international law but is its importance now diminishing? In order to shed some light on these issues, theeditors have brought together a number of leading authorities and up-and-coming young scholars to reflect on these questions, and in particular on the question of the role of state sovereignty in present-day international law. Although the contributors have chosen quite different approaches tothese issues, none of them regards the sovereignty of the State as something of the past. However they do conclude that sovereignty can no longer be defined independently of the basic needs and values of the international community as a whole. A new balance has to be found between the power of thesovereign State and the powers of the international community in creating a stable and just international order.