Characteristics of the state
o Spatial entity
Objective – has a particular form. It is tangible –
can observe it.
Occupies an area. Natural or physical boundaries.
Geographical. States observe these boundaries.
o Social entity
Socially constructed – no states without the actual
physical intervention of human intervention.
Through collaboration, cooperation and
competition. Do not simply exist, product of
purposeful intervention in the physical
environment. State was only critical about 600
years ago. States are therefore not permanent
Socially constituted – human beings populate the
state, lay claim to the territorial parameters that
comprise these states. Exert ownership over
particular states. Claims can come from a variety
of places (settlement claims
Subjectively constituted – Those people who
constructed the state have a sense of belonging
to the state. An affinity. Sense of identity. Derived
from inter-subjective understandings.
o Governed entity
Comprised of a set of governing institutions that
we collectively identify as the state apparatus.
Where the governing power of the state flows.
Anthropomerphism Treating something (e.g.
the state) as having human characteristics.
Government – The leadership and supporting staff
that is empowered to exercise the power of the
o Sovereign entity
All power resides in the state. (located in the
state) By virtue of the offices they hold. No power
above the state and no power that competes with
the state. Soul source of the right to use power.
De jure – legal/judicial. Based on
recognition. The function of reception. The