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Lecture 2

POLSCI 1AB3 Lecture 2: L2.1-The State

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McMaster University
Political Science
Todd Alway

Monday, January 16, 2017 Lecture 2.1The State Human communities are, by and large, organized under the authority of states However a world divided into separate states is not the only way of thinking about socialpolitical life and how it is organized What is the state? According to Dickerson and Flanagan: A state is defined by the joint presence of three factors: population, territory, and sovereignty. A state exists when a sovereign power effectively rules over a population residing within the boundaries of a fixed territory 1. Sovereignty Sovereignty has both internal and external aspects Internal aspects: Sovereignty implies that there is a clear hierarchy of authority within a community There is one final source of authority Set the rules and punish those who violate them Lots of authority figures but there is one final authority Clear cut authority The sovereign is recognized as having the authority to overrule all others Graphically: A pyramid of authority External aspects: recognition There is also a second aspect to sovereignty at least when we are talking about sovereignty as a guiding principle of the international system Sovereignty is an international norm Sovereigns (at least in principle) acknowledge that there are limitations to their own authority that their legal authority does not extend outside of their own borders Recognizes as equal members though Cant legislate for other people or countries etc Principle of noninterference 2. Fixed Territory The idea that political communities are stationary Within borders the sovereign has complete authority Out of the border they do not have authority Sovereign power is exercised over a fixed space (Contrast this to other ways of exercising authority: A fixed territorial location is not the only way in which authority can be organized and applied Nomadic communities, Diaspora) Nomadic: Not set in specific spaces First Nations would move from location to location 3. Effective control? Control is the most historically variable component of statehood Historically, some degree of control was required for being recognized as a sovereign state However, control is not in and of itself sufficient to guarantee the recognition of statehood 1
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