POLI 220 Lecture 11: POLI 220 - The State and Politics (1)

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University of British Columbia - Okanagan
Political Science
POLI 220
Carl Hodge

2. The State and Politics The State Barringtons definition and usage, p. 7 o State: The basic unit of political organization in the world, combining a permanent population, a defined territory, governing institutions, sovereignty over its territory, and international recognition. Basic unit of political organization in the world. o Groups can supersede authority of nation states (e.g. civil aviation authority) o International relations are fundamentally anarchic World powers make and enforce the rules and coerce obedience Permanent population o Sovereignty over a certain population Defined: o Territory: the association of an area of a state o Governing Institutions: set of rules or unwritten norms that form a states political structure o Sovereignty: the legal right of a state to conduct its own affairs within its territory; also the actual ability to control the territory Sovereignty is also used to refer to a states actual control over its territory, as a result, there can be a difference between having sovereignty in principle and having it in practice. o International Recognition: the international community acceptance of a states right to sovereignty At least in the short run, states can exist without sovereignty as long as they do not also lose international recognition Gives those in control of the territory a greater ability, within reason, to use force to maintain order without fear of international intervention Allows the state to enter into binding agreements with other states, improving its ability to trade, address problems with causes beyond its own borders, and defend itself Webers Definition o Human invention that successfully claims a monopoly on the legitimate use of force within a given territory State is the most important authority in international relations Sovereignty o Governments right to rule usually ratified by a constitution Legitimacy o Political capital, sense of people of a state on states actions o Not authority of state but popularity of the state State that has sovereignty must earn legitimacy Autonomy o Freedom from other sates o Theoretically all states have this. In practice not true (e.g. US intervention in unstable states) Purpose o Order among population and internal peace o A secure state makes a first instalment on prosperity The States Institutions The Executive o Head of state (Queen) o Head of government (Prime Minister) o Can be combined (e.g. USA) o Head of gov. CEO defined by constitution usually o Collect taxes, etc.
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