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International system is in a constant state of anarchy
The only truly important actor in the international system is the state
All state are sovereign; hence on one else but the state can come to some kind of arrangements
with other states
Black's Law Dictionary (Sixth Edition)
The supreme, absolute, and uncontrollable power by which any independent state is governed; supreme political
authority; the supreme will; paramount control of the constitution and frame of government and its
administration; the self-sufficient source of political power, from which all specific political powers are derived; the
international independence of a state, combined with the right and power of regulating its internal affairs without
foreign dictation; also a political society, or state, which is sovereign and independent.
The power to do everything in a state without accountability, --to make laws, to execute and to apply them, to
impose and collect taxes and levy contributions, to make war or peace, to form treaties of alliance or of commerce
with foreign nations, and the like.
Sovereignty in government is that public authority which directs or orders what is to be done by each member
associated in relation to the end of the association. It is the supreme power by which any citizen is governed and is
the person or body of persons in the state to whom there is politically no superior.
The necessary existence of the state and that right and power which necessarily follow is "sovereignty." By
"sovereignty" in its largest sense is meant supreme, absolute, uncontrollable power, the absolute right to govern.
The word which by itself comes nearest to being the definition of "sovereignty" is will or volition as applied to
Bouvier's Law Dictionary (1856 Edition)
SOVEREIGN STATE. One which governs itself independently of any foreign power.
SOVEREIGNTY. The union and exercise of all human power possessed in a state; it is a combination of all power; it
is the power to do everything in a state without accountability; to make laws, to execute and to apply them: to
impose and collect taxes, and, levy, contributions; to make war or peace; to form treaties of alliance or of
commerce with foreign nations, and the like. Story on the Const. §207.
2. Abstractedly, sovereignty resides in the body of the nation and belongs to the people. But these powers are
generally exercised by delegation.
3. When analyzed, sovereignty is naturally divided into three great powers; namely, the legislative, the executive,
and the judiciary; the first is the power to make new laws, and to correct and repeal the old; the second is the
power to execute the laws both at home and abroad; and the last is the power to apply the laws to particular facts;
to judge the disputes which arise among the citizens, and to punish crimes.
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In the context of Rights and Duties of States, the Restatement of the Law Third states: "'Sovereignty' is a term used
in many senses and is much abused. As used here, it implies a state's lawful control over its territory generally to
the exclusion of other states, authority to govern in that territory, and authority to apply law there."
States act selfishly; selfishness is what drives them
The main engine of selfish behavior is national security, for if there is no security there is no
To be secure, the state’s main objective is to attain power
Security is a zero-sum game
Ethics are incompatible with the international system, hence
o Any inclusion of ethics will cause more conflict
In its selfish nature, states are similar to humans
States are also inherently aggressive
Main proponents of Realism: Sun Tzu (Art of War); T. Hobbes (