Definition of State

A State is a type of polity that is an organized political community living under a single system of government. The term ‘State’ can also refer to the secular branches of the government within a state, often as a manner of contrasting them with religious and civilian institution.

There is no academic consensus on the most appropriate definition of the State. The term “State” refers to a set of different, but interrelated and often overlapping theories about a certain range of political phenomena. According to Jeffrey and Painter, “If we define the essence of the State in one place or era, we are liable to find that in another time or space something which is also understood to be a State has different essential characteristics”. The most commonly used definition is Max Weber’s, which describes the state as a compulsory political organization with a centralized government that maintains a monopoly of the legitimate use of force within a certain territory.

Another commonly accepted definition of the State is the one given at the Montevideo Convention on Rights and Duties of States in 1933. It defined state as a space that posses the following: A permanent population, a defined territory and a government that is capable of maintaining effective control over the corresponding territory and of conducting international relations with other states.



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