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Chapter - 2 Concept and Meaning of State
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CHAPTER-2 CONCEPT AND MEANING OF STATE The concept of the State has figured as the central theme of traditional political theory. R.G. Gettel defined political science as 'the science of the state', while J.W. Garner claimed that 'political science begins and ends with state'. In modem political theory, the significance of the concept of the state has been fluctuating. It is significant that though some sort of political organizations have existed since ancient times, such as, Greek City States and the Roman Empire, yet the concept of the 'state' as such is comparatively modem. Machiavelli expressed his idea as, "the power which has authority over man". This was an important idea because it describes the nature of the State, not the end of the State. According to Weber, a famous German sociologist, "A State is a human community that successfiilly claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory".' The Greeks used the term polls or city to express their concept of the state. Their state was infact a city-state and the term was true enough, but the development of the country-state, as Sidgwick calls it, demands a more comprehensive term. The Romans used civitas, but they spoke also of status reipublica and res publica which carried with it the idea of public welfare. The modem term "State" was probably derived fi"om status through the adoption of the term by Teutonic peoples. Machiavelli in II Principe (1523) is credited with introducing the term into modem political science, and during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the term found its way in different forms into the languages of modern Europe.^
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21 Similarly, R.M. Maclver and C.H. Page have pointed out: 'The state is distinguished from all other associations by its exclusive investment with the final power of coercion'. R.M. Maclver points out that it embraces the whole of people in a specific territory and it has the special function of maintaining social order. Frederick M. Watkins defines the state as 'a geographically delimited segment of human society united by common obedience to a single sovereign'. Goeffrey K. Roberts define the state as - a territorial area in which a population is governed by a set of political authorities, and which successfully claims the compliance of the citizenry for its laws, and is able to secure such compliance by its monopolistic control of legitimate force'. Men who live together in small groups under fairly primitive conditions of life may manage without any institution that it is appropriate to call a "State"; but as soon as human societies get beyond this stage "the State"; but as soon as human societies get beyond this stage "the State" emerges as an apparently necessary instrument for holding them together. There were "City States" in Ancient Greece and Medieval Italy and Germany: the Ancient Empires of Egypt, Persia and Babylon were based on "States" as much as the British empire is today. There have been "States" at every stage of civilization except the most rudimentary.'*
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Christopher Reinemann
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