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Unformatted text preview: 16 Understanding the State UNIT 12 SOVEREIGNTY Structure 12.0 Objectives 12.1 Introduction 12.2 Nature of Sovereignty 12.3 What is Sovereignty? 12.4 Characteristics of Sovereignty 12.5 Development of the Idea of Sovereignty 12.6 Legal and Political Sovereignty 12.7 Location of Sovereignty 12.7.1 Sovereignty of the Monarch 12.7.2 Sovereignty of the People 12.7.3 Sovereignty as Constitution Making Power 12.7.4 Sovereignty of Law Making Power 12.8 De Jure and De Facto Sovereignty 12.9 Limitations on Sovereignty 12.9.1 Moral Limitations 12.9.2 Constitutional Limitations 12.9.3 International Limitations 12.10 Attacks on the Theory of Sovereignty 12.11 Let Us Sum Up 12.12 Some Useful References 12.13 Answers to Checks Your Progress Exercises 12.0 OBJECTIVES This unit deals with one of the most important concept used in Political Science, namely, Sovereignty. After studying this unit, you should able to: • Understand the concept of sovereignty and know its nature and characteristics; • Trace the genesis of the doctrine and explain its location and varieties; • Critically evaluate the attacks leveled against the concept of sovereignty; and • To know the relevance of the concept in today’s world. 12.1 INTRODUCTION Before we begin to analyse the concept of sovereignty, we should have an insight about the meaning of politics, relation of politics with other social sciences and the meaning of the state. The Liberal view regards politics as a social process to resolve conflict, maintain unity: an activity to serve the common good of society and to prepare the way for peaceful social change. The Marxist view regards politics as a study of class relations and class struggles in society. Similarly, the state has been understood as an institution, which performs all these functions in society. One fundamental question crops up here-how does the state perform all these functions? In reply to this question, it may be said that it performs all these functions with the help of some authority or coercive power, which is known as sovereignty. If there 17 State, Civil Society and Community are conflicts in society and these conflicts are resolved by a coercive power, then many questions arise-what is this coercive power? What is its nature? What are its bases? How can it maintain unity in a crisis-ridden, class-divided society? Should the state have all this power or is it to be shared with other associations of society? All these questions are associated with the issue of sovereignty in one way or the other, which shall be dealt with in this unit. 12.2 NATURE OF SOVEREIGNTY The relation of state to state, of a state to its citizens, and of one citizen to another can be understood only after a further discussion of that characteristic which distinguishes the state from all other organizations, its sovereignty. Another consideration is the nature of law, since in that form the sovereignty of the state manifests itself....
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This note was uploaded on 03/13/2012 for the course IR 101 taught by Professor Harfancoofers during the Spring '12 term at Sunway University College.
- Spring '12