As has been discussed within the of lectures and readings, there are ultimately four characteristics that comprise a . Accordingly, these characteristics are as follows: population, territory, government, and sovereignty. Within the definition of the state which has been provided, it can and should be understood that each and every one of these determinants is important in defining the system as a whole. However, if one were forced to pick a single determinant in state that it was the most definitive in seeking to explain and describe a state, it is the understanding and opinion of this author that such a one-dimensional approach must necessarily be with regards to sovereignty. As will be noted in the following analysis, the choice of sovereignty as the premier definition and explicate her of what a state truly is will be predicated upon the understanding of the fact that without a degree and level of sovereignty, no control or direction could be provided to either the population, territory, or government within such a system. In such a way, by defining sovereignty as the primary and fundamental compound of statehood, it is the hope of this author that the reader will gain a further understanding of why challenges to sovereignty account for the lion’s share of all conflict that takes place between states within the current world.
In such a way, it is necessary for the reader to understand that sovereignty is the most important metric and defining the way in which the territory of state is appreciated and understood. Within such an understanding, one can realize that without a sovereign level of governance, it would be impossible to definitively demarcate borders and regions of control. due to the fact that without any control whatsoever (sovereignty) such a territorial understanding and definition would be meaningless. Similarly, with regards to the population, a level of sovereignty is absolutely required due to the fact that without this, no definitive goals or programs can be affected (Lewis, 2010). Finally, the issue of sovereignty is perhaps most specific with regards to the government of the state. Without an overall level of sovereignty over the territory and people to which the state intends to govern, the entire idea, definition, an understanding of statehood evaporates.
Although it should not be understood that sovereignty in and of itself is the only determinant to statehood, it must be realized and appreciated that this determinant impacts strongly and primarily upon all of the other definitions of statehood. Likewise, it comes as little surprise that sovereignty is one of the key issues which is perennially raised with regards to the level and extent to which systems around the globe are able to engage with stakeholders both within and without of their respective states. Moreover, international relations are continually defined by the means and level to which individual states feel their sovereignty is threatened and thereby will go to almost any and all lengths to ensure that the threat is removed and no longer evidence.
Lewis, J. A. (2010). Sovereignty and the Role of Government. Brown Journal Of World Affairs, 16(2), 55-65.