Class Notes (836,580)
Canada (509,856)
POLSCI 1G06 (280)
Todd Alway (280)
Lecture 9

Political Science 1G06 2012 Lecture 9a overhead state.doc

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Political Science
Todd Alway

Political Science 1G06 2012 Lecture 9a The State - The state as an institution has a history - It is not the only way of organizing political authority and political community - What is the state? - 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” - Note that all of the bolded terms have a history that needs to be further explored - 1. Sovereignty - Sovereignty is not just a concept - It is an institution with its own history - As an institution, sovereignty has both internal and external aspects - Internal aspects: - In theory, sovereignty implies that there is a clear hierarchy of rule within the state - There is one final source of authority - This does not mean that there are no other sources of authority within the state - However 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 - To be effectively practiced, sovereignty is something that must also be recognized by other sovereigns - In the modern context, 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 state 1 o Which is not the same thing as saying that states do not exercise power outside of their own borders - States that are granted sovereignty by the international community (and not all political communities are) are (at least in principle) regarded as formally equal - 2. Fixed Territory assumption - The idea that sovereign authority can only be exercised over a fixed territorial space may seem to be self-evident - However, a fixed territorial location is not the only way in which authority can be organized and expressed - Nomads, Diaspora - Even in the recent past of Canada, the idea that sovereign authority corresponds with the territorial borders of the Canadian state is only partially true - “As recently as 1982, the legal method for amending the Canadian Constitution required British Parliamentary approval” - 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 -
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