Sept. 10 – Basic Concepts
1) The State: the world is broken up into states.
- Every piece of the world is a territory of the a state (country)
- Major actors of IR
To be a state, look at the 1933 Montevideo Convention...
1) Permanent population
2) Defined territory
3) Government – autonomous, sovereign
4) Ability to enter into relations with other states – the government should be able to speak for its
people, sign treaties, etc
In practice however, these conventions can get messy!
- It has a population, territory and a government in place but because China claims it, fewer
countries recognize it as an independent state this is an issue of territorial control
- Has a population, territory and enters into relations but because it has issues with its borders, it
is not really recognized as a state
- It is a state yet it has no functioning government
- An old military installation on the English coast in Britain
- It is an independent state
2) Sovereignty – Two dimensions: Internal and External
- Internal: the government is the highest authority over the state; it has control over the people
- External: there is no unit above the state; the state has equal relation with other states
States and Sovereignty
- Every state has sovereignty over its own people
Why does this matter? Because states are a relatively new concept.
Ex. Henry and the Pope
- This is an example of a head of a massive state bowing down to religious authority
- Henry took a trip to Canossa to apologize to the Pope after being excommunicated for trying to
appoint his own bishops – appointments were supposed to be done by the Vatican popes
- Never before had a German king been so humiliated Peace of Westphalia
- Two treaties established in 1694 which ended the 30 years war
- It represented a new diplomatic stature created by the states
- The treaty created the basic element of state and sovereignty
Background: 30 years war
- Bohemians threw out the Holy Roman figures, humiliating them
o They thought that the emperor would impose Catholicism on them
- Massive European slaughter
- In this war, religion mattered + territory + power
- Solution: agreement that princes controlled the individual states.
o There was no imposing of religion – no higher power
This was the basis of the modern state system = the world would be divided into territories.
Why the European history lesson?
- The big player was empires
- Ex. the Qing dynasty, Ottoman Empire, etc => are they not sovereign states?
Sovereign states – bounded equal states
Empire states – center + everyone else is lower
Qing View of the World