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Lecture 3

POL114H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Member States Of The United Nations, Wield

Political Science
Course Code
Kristin Cavoukian

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Class 3 Reading States and government
Understanding states
- State: a territory with a population of a government whose existence and independence are recognized under
international law
A territory marked by borders that contains a population that is often overseen by a government whose
authority is recognized by the citizens of the state and by the governments of other states
States are often referred to as countries, but this isn’t a term with geographical connotations that is too
vague for the taste of most social scientists and legal scholars
- Concepts of a state:
1- Authority: States have authority meeting that they have did acknowledge rights to act or to rule; a condition
that exists when subordinates accept the capacity of superiors to give orders
By acknowledging the authority of the state, we accept its rights to make decisions and we except our
duty to obey
2- Legitimacy: States have legitimacy meaning that they’re existence + the authority they wield within their
borders is generally recognized by the people who live there and by the government and citizens of other states
Legitimacy is a political and moral concept based on whether or not the authority of the state is
3- Sovereignty: States have sovereignty meaning that they aren’t searching no higher political or legal authority
and are legally independent in the sense that they can make all their own decisions
4- Government: all states have a government, made of the institutions, processes and the laws that are needed to
keep states running, and to represent them in dealings with other states
Governments come in many different forms that often have different relationships with their citizens on
with each other
- The most complete listing of states can be found in the membership roster of the United Nations which
currently includes 193 states
- Problems with this:
4 UN members in Europe or no more than microstates that are in almost every way integrated with in
the bigger states that surround them
Several of the world’s territories do not appear on the list because they do not have independent
territories or because they are not internationally recognized as states
Several states have separate movements with activities have brought about a breakup of an existing
state and a redrawing of state boundaries
States very in the extent to which they actually have control over their land under people
- When we look at the membership roster of the UN, we find only those countries that meets all the standard
definitions of the state
- Citizenship: The idea of legally belonging to a given state as a result of birth or being given citizenship and
having related rights and responsibilities
The right to live in that state
The right to vote or run in the elections for political office
The right not to be removed from the state unless extradited for a crime in another state
The right to hold a passport issued by our home state
- Complications:
1- Legal non-citizens have almost all the same rights as citizens
2- Dual citizenship is increasingly common
3- Many people live in states who are doing so with no authorization
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