Defining the state – O’Neil reading
The state monopolizes force and executes policy.
Max Weber – a state in its most basic terms is an organization that maintains a monopoly of
violence over a territory.
Sovereignty – most important element of a state. Self-governing ability or ability to carry out
actions or policies within a territory independently from external actors. Set forth laws, resolve
disputes, generate security. To do this you need physical power. Armies for external threats,
police for internal.
The word police even comes from old French word meaning “to govern.” Thus seeks the
majority of force within a territory, establishes order and deters challengers from inside and out.
In doing so provides security.
The state is a number of institutions engaged in process of turning political ideas into policy.
Laws, health care, employment, transportation, parks etc. Also set of institutions that society
deems necessary to achieve basic goals regarding freedom and equality.
State is viewed by the public as legitimate, vital and appropriate. Remains in the face of crisis,
turmoil or revolution. Civil ware can eliminate states, though unusual.
STATE, GOVERNMENT & REGIME
Therefore state is the monopoly of force over a given territory, but also the set of political
institutions that transform ideas into concrete action and use their monopoly over
violence to that end. The machinery of politics. Characterized by institutions such as an
army, police, taxation and social welfare systems. More institutionalized.
Institutionalized: established in practice or custom.
Differentiate with Government – the leadership elite in charge of running the state. Often
characterized by elected offici