Define the following terms; State, Sovereignty, Anarchy and Nation

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Jack Major


Define the following terms;

State, Sovereignty, Anarchy and Nation

This essay will attempt to define four essential words, commonly used when focusing on international relations and politics; State, Sovereignty, Anarchy and Nation. There are many objective perspectives to any word, which is why the general definition is important for the understanding of words with great importance.

State, to begin with, refers to three different meanings that depend upon its context; “A legal person, a political community, and a government” (Bayliss et al, 330)[1]. However, the word state is generally defined as the civil government of a country. With this in mind, the current meaning of state is still remarkably ambiguous and profoundly misunderstood. “’Primitive’ societies are imagined as suffering a fundamental ‘lack’, they are incomplete, they fail as real societies, they are without history: they are without state” (Neocleous, 2)[2]. This quote suggests that without state, there is no hope for success or survival within a society.

Some ask the origin of the concept of the state to help their understanding although the famous classical philosopher; Aristotle believed the formation of a state to be normal and paid no attention to its origin in his work. “We can reject the belief that the state is an expression of the “genius” of people or that it arose through a “historical accident.” Moreover, it was not a unique event but a recurring phenomenon: states arose independently in different places and at different times. Where the appropriate conditions existed, the state emerged” As taught by Robert L. Carneiro[3]

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Secondly, sovereignty represents the supreme power of the state to exact obedience from the people who reside within it. The power of the state is incontestable. The state also has a right to demand fidelity from its citizens. Since there is no universally agreed definition; the term sovereignty can be contested. Although Thomas Hobbes defined what he considered the basis of a political body as 'the most high and perpetual' Or with an international perspective sovereignty can mean “independence, i.e., non-interference by external powers in the internal affairs of another state” (Benoist, 100)[4].

According to F. H. Hinsley, ...

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