What is a State? Features of a State

A state is a politically organized body of people residing in a specific geographical territory, living under a government

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In this post, we shall look briefly into what a state is and its intrinsic features. At the end of this lesson, students should be able to:

  • define a state; and
  • enumerate the features of a state.

What is a State?

A state is a politically organized body of people residing in a specific geographical territory, living under a government, and enjoying a considerable degree of independence from external control. The state is also capable of ensuring habitual obedience from its citizens.

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Image Credit: stokpic on Pixabay.

Features of a State

  1. Definite Territory: A state must have a clearly defined and recognizable territory, which can vary in size.
  2. Population: For a state to be considered as such, it requires a certain number of people inhabiting its territory. There is no specific minimum or maximum limit to the population.
  3. Government: A state must have a functioning government that manages its affairs and exercises authority over its citizens.
  4. Sovereignty and Independence: A state possesses supreme power to create, enforce, and interpret laws within its territory. It should also be free from excessive external control or interference.
  5. Recognition: A state needs to be acknowledged both internally by its citizens and externally by other sovereign states and international bodies.
  6. The Rule of Law and Fundamental Human Rights: A state upholds the rule of law, ensuring that laws are applied equally to all citizens. It also recognizes and protects fundamental human rights.
  7. Permanence: A state is permanent irrespective of changes in its political systems, leadership, or borders.
See also  Rule of Law | Advantages and Limitations
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