Definition of sovereignty in political science

Definition of sovereignty in political science

We have said that what differentiates membership of the State from that of other mealtime is its compulsory nature. All other organizations and activities in the State’s manners are subordinate to it to the last resort. The State issues directions, and it also enforces that it is necessary to employ armed force.

The modern State, says Leaks. “is a territorial society, divided into government and subjects claiming within its allotted physical area supremacy over all other institutions.” Sovereignty is the most important constituent element of the State, and there can be no State Without a Sovereign power.

The basis of State sovereignty, to quote Laski again, “is the contingent power to use the armed forces of the State to compel obedience to its will And it is the possession of this legal right to resort to coercion which distinguishes the government of the State from the government of all other associations.” How essential that control is to the State‘s effective power is one of history’s clearest lessons.

There are two aspects of sovereignty: internal sovereignty and external sovereignty. Internal sovereignty refers to the presence in every independent State of some person miserably or group which has the final legal power to command and enforce obedience to its authority.

This supreme authority is absolute over all individuals or associations of individuals within the State. It issues orders to all men and all associations within that are, but it receives orders from none of them. It will cost rs absolute, and it is subject to no legal limitation. What it proposes is right by the mere announcement of intention.

By external sovereignty, we mean that the State is subject to no other a sorority and consequently, is independent of any compulsion or interference on other  States. If its authority is subject to the provisions of any treaty, or if it is limited by the rules of international law, the sovereign status of the State is not destroyed in any way.

These are auto-limitations and are obeyed at the will of the State. There is no other authority that can come it into obedience. Each State is independent of other States. its will is its own, unaffected by any external power’s will.

It follows that the sovereignty of the State is unlimited internally as well as externally. It is original and absolute power, and it cannot be divided. Division of sovereignty means the destruction of sovereignty. Sovereignty represents the unity of the State, and the sovereign State is externally free and internally supreme. The authority exercised by various organs of the State, that is, the government is delegated.

Gettell has aptly said:

“If Sovereignty is not absolute, no State exists, if sovereignty is divided, more than one State exist There can be no legal power at the back of the sovereignty of the State and no legal check on its scope “.

Definitions of Sovereignty:

Definitions of sovereignty, like definitions of the State, are many and varied. Bodin defined it as the

“supreme power over citizens and subjects, unrestrained by law.”

Hugo Grotius defined it as

“the supreme political power vested in him whose acts are not subject to any other and whose will cannot be overridden.”

Duguit says

“that sovereignty is the commanding power of the State, it is the will of the nation organized in the State, it is the right to give unconditional orders to all individuals in the territory of the State.”

Burgess characterized it as

“original, absolute, unlimited power over the individual subject and over all associations of subjects.”

He further says that sovereignty is the underfunded and independent power to command and compel obedience. The sovereign is legally supreme over any individual or group, says Laski; he possesses supreme coercive power. Sovereignty, according to Jenks, is an authority which, in the last resort, controls absolutely and beyond appeal the actions of every individual member of the community.

Term Sovereignty And Its Development:

Origin of the Term. The term sovereignty is derived from the Latin word superanus, which means supreme. As suggesting the supreme power in a territory, the notion of sovereignty is modern, and its emergence is connected with the rise of the modern nation-State.

But it does not mean that the ancient and medieval ages had no idea of such a notion. For the ancients, it simply meant a statement of the fact that there must be an ultimate control, someone with the last word in any case of dispute, able to make final adjustments in the sharing of responsibility and power and that the State, and no other social force, must exercise this final authority.

Creon says in Sophocles’s tragedy Antigone, Whatever the State appoints must be obeyed in everything, both small and great, just and unjust. Plato and Aristotle recognized the presence of the “supreme power” in the State and emphasized the respect for State authority the finality of law. Aristotle claimed for the State a natural priority to the family and the individual. The Roman lawyers and the medieval writers spoke of the fulness of the power of the State.

The Middle Ages knew nothing about the doctrine and practice of concerted final authority. Then, the political form has feudalism, based on personal dependence and allegiance within many small groups. Feudalism was the antithesis of unified authority. There was an Open conflict between the Spiritual and Temporal authorities, and if anybody, under the circumstances, could claim final authority, it was the Church and not the State.

Moreover, people’s firm belief in nature or God and the sanctity attached to such laws over human-made laws retarded the growth of the modem idea of sovereignty. Summing up the nature of sovereignty in the Middle Ages, Ward says, The authority of Feudalism and the belief in God’s law of nature superior to the human law made impossible the modern idea of the unlimited and indivisible sovereignty of the State overall citizens.

The sixteenth century’s religious wars destroyed the unity of the Church, and on the ruins of this destruction was built the modern State. The triumphant monarch either gradually destroyed or absorbed all possible rival intermediaries between himself and his subjects, including the Church.

Sovereignty came to be regarded as one of the State’s essential attributes, incarnate in the king, the head of the State; his authority was final to define and pronounce the law. The emergence of the modem State, thus, gave a new meaning to the term sovereignty.

The struggle that gave rise to the conception of sovereignty was undertaken and sustained by the monarch himself to establish his personal independence. To the victor belonged the spoils of war.

Bodin and Hobbes:

The new reality of sovereignty of the State was given its philosophical justification by a Frenchman, Jean Bodin, and an Englishman, Thomas Hobbes, each writing during the full agony of the civil and religious wars of his country, the former at the beginning and the latter in the middle of the seventeenth century.

Both  Bodin and Hobbes defended the need for one unified authority, which should be accepted by all and against which no group or individual could object any earlier rights to independence or resistance.

Rights were what the State granted, compatible with the State’s unity and keeping of peace and order within it. There could be only one power within the community; they urged, which could not be limited or divided and shared. Bodin’s sovereign was, however, subject to four limitations.

Firstly as the king did not possess supermundane sovereignty, God was above him. Secondly, the king’s supreme power over his subjects was subordinated to the law of God and nature, that is, to the requirements of the moral order. Thirdly, the French King could not modify the succession of many parts of the public domain, and, finally, the king could not touch private property.

But these limitations, Bodin maintained, did not limit the power of the king over the body-politic. His assertion that the Prince was the image r nod meant a sovereign living person, and his authority transcended the whole political community just as God transcended the cosmos.

He said either sovereignty meant nothing, or it meant migraine power ruling over the entire body-politic. He thus defined sovereignty as a supreme power over citizens and subjects, not bound by the laws. It gave orders and received orders from none.

In this way, the concept of sovereignty took a definite form when absolute monarchy was beginning to make its appearance in Europe. With Thomas Hobbes, it reached its perfection when the king’s sovereign power was held to be natural and inalienable. His whole idea was to establish that the king possessed a natural and inalienable right to rule over his subjects.

Once the people had agreed upon the fundamental law of the kingdom and given the king and his descendant’s power over them, they were deprived of any right to govern themselves, and the full natural right to rule the body-politic resided in the person of the king whose authority was absolute and indivisible.

Sovereignty and the Modern Democratic State:

Later, people realized that the king was a part of the governmental machine and, accordingly, an agent rather than a master. As such, he possessed subordinate and delegated authority, which could be revoked at the will of the master, the people. It was a protest against the absolute monarchy; it began with John Locke, an English political philosopher, who justified the Glorious Revolution (1688), and found its fullest expression in the French Revolution,

The French Revolution made the people sovereign, and not only transferred to it, as Soltau remarks, all the attributes of the old monarchy of divine right but removed all limitations, on the ground that the people, when governing itself, had named to restrict its authority. The State, in its corporate capacity, was thus, endowed with all the attributes of sovereignty which the monarch previously possessed.

Two factors reinforced the absolutism of the new democratic State. One was nationalism, which added the claims of the nation to those of the sovereign people. The national State claimed unlimited authority at home over its members and the right to expand abroad at the expense of others. The second factor was the enormous increase in the province of the State following the Industrial Revolution:

The State’s activities were not only limited to protection, administration, and dispensation of justice, but it became an organizer of economic life, an educator, an agent in practically every aspect of the collective existence. This meant a meme-increasing mass of legislation and a great increase in the State’s importance as supreme law-maker, thus reinforcing the dogma of sovereignty by giving it a much wider field of application.


The concept of popular sovereignty and the identification of the people with the State were actually the result of Rousseau’s teachings, which he had propagated thirty years before the French Revolution. Rousseau made popular sovereignty the doctrine of individual freedom. Still, the myth of the General Will, which was “always right,” made it a vindication of much more comprehensive State power than any previous political thinker had offered since Plato.

Rousseau injected into the nascent modern democracies a notion of sovereignty that was destructive of democracy and pointed towards the totalitarian State. People and the State having become one, the individual’s personality is merged in the social whole, for it is only the power of the State which makes the freedom of its members.

Rousseau asserted that the will of the State is the will of the individual so far as he has accepted this identification of himself with the community, His real self, his real will becomes part of the common or General Will for the common good. If he does not agree with what the General Will consents for him, he pursues selfish ends, and the General Will can compel him to agree, and by doing so, he is forced to be free. Thus, the mystical operations of the General Will create Conditions of unheard absolutism. Rousseau’s State was the Leviathan of Hobbes crowned with the General Will instead of the crown of absolute monarchs described as tyrants.


As initiated by Rousseau, the theory of sovereignty was given its complete and coherent form by Hegel, the German political thinker, who made it more definitely philosophical and metaphysical. “The State,” he said, is perfected rationality, the eternal and necessary essence of spirit, the rational in itself and for itself, an absolute fixed end in itself.

In this way, Hegel completely identities the State with society and asserts that only in and through the State does the individual receive what makes life worth living; without it, he is nothing. Consequently, the State’s rights are unlimited, legally as a matter of fact and morally as a matter of right, and the individual lives to make his contribution to the common life of the State.

He must be prepared to enjoy and sacrifice what the good of the common life of the State either grants him or demands from him. The State being not the agent of society, does not exist for some specific purposes and with clearly donned functions. For Hegel, the State is the supreme community, and organized moral life is only possible within the State. It is the source of morality and all civilized existence.

Austin and the Pluralists:

The legal theory of sovereignty received its logical analysis from John Austin, an English jurist. Austin’s conclusions formed the basis of jurisprudence’s prevailing systems, and they exercised immense influence on political thought in England and the United States of America.

Till recently, sovereignty has been viewed as absolute internal sovereignty and complete external independence. The Pluralists, the recent school of thought, reject outright the concept of the State’s absolute authority and plead for the division of sovereignty between the State and various other associations present within its territorial limits.

They regard the State as an association like various other associations with a specific purpose to perform. The functions of the State are well-defined, and it has no rightful claim to eminence. In brief, the Pluralists maintain that sovereignty is divisible, and the State is not supreme and unlimited in its authority.

Sovereignty in political science

The modern State is a sovereign State. Sovereignty in political science is, therefore, independent in the face of other communities. It may infuse its will towards them with a substance that needs not to be affected by any external power’s will. It is, moreover, internally supreme over the territory that it controls. Issues orders to all men, and all associations within that area receive orders from none of them. Its will is subject to no legal limitation of any kind. What it purposes is right by the mere announcement of intention.

But such a theory of sovereignty has at least three aspects from which it demands scrutiny. It needs, in the first place, historical analysis. The State, as it now is, has not escaped the categories of time. It has become what it is under historical evolution. That development both explains the character of its present power and, at last, offers hints as to its possible future. It is, secondly, a theory of law.

It makes of right merely the expression of a particular Will, without reference to what it contains. As will be seen, such a definition has about it an unquestionable logic, but the assumptions upon which it is compelled to build make it valueless for political philosophy.

The modern theory of sovereignty is, thirdly, a theory of political organization. It insists that there must be some single center of ultimate reference in every social order, some power that can resolve disputes by saying the last word that will be obeyed. From the political angle, such a view, as will be argued, is of dubious correctness in fact, and it is. It least probable that it has dangerous moral consequences. It would be argued that it would be of lasting benefit to political science if the whole concept of sovereignty were surrendered.

In fact, we are dealing in power, and what is important like power is the end it seeks to serve and the way it serves that end. These are both questions of evidence related to, but independent of, the rights born of legal structure.

Historically, there is no limit to the variety of ways in which the use of power may be organized. Historically, the sovereign State is merely one of those ways, an incident in its evolution, the utility of which has now reached its apogee. The problem before us has become, because of the unified interests of humanity, that of bending the modern State to the interests of humanity. The dogmas we use to that end are relative of little import, so long as we are assured that the end is truly served.

The territorial and omnipotent State is the offspring of the religious struggles of the sixteenth century. Before that time, Western civilization was regarded as a single Commonwealth in which sovereignty had no existence in the modern sense. In theory, Ultimate power was the possession of a view of right, which found embodiment in Pope and Emperor. The two powers clashed, and Rome’s imminent victory was frustrated by a moral degeneration coincident with nationality growth. The appeal against a Church that remained obstinately deaf to demands for reform involved creating the national State.

For when Luther appealed against the divine Church, he was driven to assert the divinity of States, that the right of a secular body to interfere might be made manifest. There were European princes ready to accept his views. When they met the challenge of a reviving Church, insistence upon their sovereignty and the unified allegiance implied was the simplest theoretic justification they could discover. The State became incarnate in the prince. What he willed was right because it was his will.

Right ceases to mean, as in the Middle Ages, a particular aspect of universal justice. It comes to mean that which emanates from a single center in the body politic anti by its predominating unity gives strength and decisiveness to the community’s striking power. The Republic of Bodin, in which the theory of sovereignty is first treated in modem terms, shows clearly the urgency at this perspective to his generation.

Bodin was making a plea for peace in an age of war. Jar as quad inseam est is the direct high road to the goal. If men can be persuaded to accept the sovereign organ’s will as pro eminent, the opposition is deprived of its main pretensions, and Henry IV, for example, may restore to France the prosperity religious conflict has endangered.

Thus, the sovereign State emerges to vindicate the supremacy of the secular order against religious claims, and it forces the clerisy into the position of subordinate authority from which, after the Dark Ages, it had itself so painfully emerged.

It is argued by Bodin, as later by Hobbes in a period of similar disintegration, that if the State is to live, there must be in every organized political community some definite authority not only itself obeyed, but also beyond the reach of authority. This was the root of Hobbes’s argument. The will of the State must be all or nothing. If it can be challenged, the prospect of anarchy is obvious. So, too, in their different ways, with the views of Rousseau and Chief Justice Marshall.

A sovereign people, they argued, cannot suffer derogation from the effective power of its instruments; it will be unimpeachable to direct the destinies with which it is charged. We must not forget the atmosphere, not merely in which the theory of sovereignty was born, but also in which, at the hands of each of its great exponents, it has secured new emphasis.

From Bodin to Hegel, that has always been a period of crisis in which the State seemed likely to perish unless it could secure its members’ unified allegiance. That allegiance might be secured if legal superiority was vested in the sovereign organ. So long as religious intolerance was a European habit, it was difficult for the suppressed minority to accept the View that legal superiority implied moral authority. With the coming of toleration, however, that difficulty was removed.

The fact that religious difference was now permanently recognized left the State the sole association with an identical claim upon those who dwelt within its boundaries. It provided a ground whereas it seemed, all who possessed citizenship might meet in common. There, at least, there seemed to be neither Jew nor Greek, neither bond nor free.

The social bond seemed to find, particularly as the forms of democratic government made their way, its ultimate expression in a State with no partial character about it differently from all other associations. The State embraced all men because it was the one compulsory form of association. It was easy to identify its sovereignty with pro eminence.

Another cause contributed to this elevation. Driven by the Reformation from a universal competence position, the papacy sought an international position’s compensation. As the French King was to Frenchmen abroad, the Jesuits argued that it was the papal relationship to Roman Catholics. Behind that claim, indeed, there lurked certain shadowy vestiges of supremacy which disappeared only with the regretful recognition of permanence in the secular State.

What was important was the notion that rules were necessary to regulate affairs between the organs of sovereign powers. The hinterland between nations could, so Grotius magisterially declared, become the subject of agreements not less morally binding than the will of States was binding upon their subjects. It was agreed that the State was, through its governmental organ, the natural unit through which such agreement might be made.

When States became, in the course of the seventeenth century, the natural and ultimate channels of diplomatic intercourse, the final safeguard of their subjects abroad’ rights, the last link in the chain of their predominance was complete.

Thenceforth, their will knew, legally at least, no external check of any kind. The sanction of international law was their assent to it, and the implication of assent was a withdrawal as free as the original assent. What was called, in brief, the comity of nations did not imply, except as metaphor, the reintegration of the medieval Republican Christiana?

The acknowledged rights of humanity became simply those rules which States agreed to observe, rules which, as in Belgium in 1914, States were legally free to break if they are so pleased.

The chain was then complete. The individual could then read the details of his rights and duties in the list of orders and prohibitions enforced by the government under which he lived. At home, he could have those powers implied in the fabric of its statutes. Abroad he could use those privileges its dexterity had from the courtesy of other States.

What is most striking to the observers is that it represents not an absolute but a historical logic. Internationally, it is not difficult to conceive the organization of an allegiance that reaches beyond the limits of the State.

For instance, to leave with a handful of men, the power to make war may well seem anachronistic to those who envisage war consequences. When State sovereignty in international affairs was recognized, no authority existed to which that type of control might be entrusted. It is arguable now that an authority predominant over States may be conceived to entrust the regulation of those affairs of more than national interest.

That is clear in the case of war. For most, it is clear also in the case, for example, of those native races who cannot pit their skill in exploitation against the modern trader’s genius. Wherever, in short, the interests of a unified and interdependent world seem to demand an international standard of conduct, the corporate organization of that standard, and its corporate application, are at least conceivable.

We shall discuss later what is implied in such a notion. Here it is sufficient to insist that it involves abolishing State sovereignty at any rate on the international side. It sees the State simply as a unit in a society of States, the will of which would then be set by a process in which it would have no final say.

It even implies, as the acceptance of this doctrine grows, a duty on the part of the individual citizen of a recalcitrant State to look beyond the emotional penumbra of patriotism to the issue of conflict. He might then, perhaps, choose to declare that obedience to the will of the society of States is, in the given instance, the highest duty that he knows.

The logic of this evolution is not dissimilar on the internal side. Any study of the State’s working will be compelled largely to concern itself with the history of the limitations upon power exercise. Those who practice the theoretic substance of sovereignty find themselves sooner or later deprived of it. For the State must work through persons. The government, which acts as its sovereign organ, never, as a matter of history, has the prospect of permanence if it consistently seeks to be absolute.

Civil war and revolution in the England of the seventeenth century,1789 in France, 1917 in Russia are all of the footnotes to sovereignty. They seem to mean that power always has to be organized for action following rules and that the obedience of the community has been proffered to the government only when it abides by those rules.

Power, that is to say, when vested in several persons, is not only limited as to method but also as to the objects to which it can be directed. The sovereignty, that is to say, is historically conditioned always by the environment it encounters. It is secure only when it is so exercised with responsibility. But the definition of sovereignty is that it is unlimited and irresponsible, and the logic of its hypothesis is thus directly antithetic to the experience it has encountered.

Another point of interest may here be made. Those who have most powerfully shaped the theory of sovereignty  Bodin, Hobbes, Rousseau, Bentham, and Austin were, except Austin, all of the writing before the nature of a federal State had been at all fully explored.

Either, like Bodin, they thought in terms of the unlimited power of the prince, or, like Bentham, in terms of the unlimited power of the legislature, and they might, like Rousseau, deny legitimacy to any act which emanated merely from a representative organ. The difficulty of fitting their assumptions to a State like the United States is obvious.

The congress is a limited body, the powers of which are carefully defined. The separate States are similarly cabinet within the four corners of the Constitution, and even the amendment of the Constitution is limited by the exception that no State shall, without its own consent, be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate. Therefore, in the theoretical sense, the United States has no sovereign organ for the Supreme Court judges, being overridden by Constitutional Amendment, are clearly only a penultimate court of reference.

Therefore, a particular historical experience has devised building a State from which the conception of sovereignty is absent. We may, of course, as certain German theorists h$e done, prize so highly the theory of sovereignty as to urge that a society Which does not possess it is not a State at all. But a political philosophy that rejects the title of the  United States to Statehood is unlikely to apply to a world of realities.

Nature of Sovereignty

Nature of Sovereignty. The constituent element that distinguishes the state from all other human associations is sovereignty—the supremacy of will and power. In every fully independent stats, some person, assembly, or group (a.g, the electorate) or which has the supreme power of formulating in terms of the law and executing the collective will that it the final power of command and enforce obedience to its authority. Other associations have collective wills and may formulate opinions, but it is the peculiar characteristic of the state that it will dominate and override in conflict. All other wills, whether of persons or associations. To it, all other wills are potentially subject. The will of the state, once declared, represents the last word regarding the matter upon which it has made a decision.1 It does not admit the right of any other body or association to exercise the power of sovereignty within its territory or even to share with it the exercise of that power.

The Idea and the Term Nature Of Sovereignty:

Although the term “sovereignty” is modern, the idea goes back to Aristotle, who spoke of the “supreme power.”2 The Roman jurists and the civilians throughout the Middle Ages likewise had the idea. They frequently employed the terms summa potestas and plenitude potestatis to designate the supreme power of the state. The modern terms “sovereign” and “sovereignty” (Louvain, souverainete) were first used by the French jurists, notably by the Beaumanoir and Loiseau in the fifteenth century,3, and later they found their way into English. Italian and German legal and political literature.4 Bodin in the sixteenth century was the tint writer to discuss at length in his “Six Books on the Republic” the nature and characteristics of sovereignty. In the Latin edition of his work be employed the term summa potestas and in the French edition, the term souverainete.

While the ancient and medieval writers undoubtedly had some notion of the modern idea of sovereignty, it was more or less vague and confused, due in large part, no doubt, to the fact that the sovereignty of the state as we understand it today was largely nonexistent.5 It was the struggle between the rising national state and its various internal and external rivals the Holy Roman Empire, the papacy, and the feudal lords during the late Middle Ages which gave rise to the modern doctrine of the sovereignty of the state and which called forth the first literature dealing with the subject. It was especially in France that this struggle assumed the fiercest proportions. The French kings vigorously combated the emperor’s pretensions, the pope, and the feudal nobility and asserted that they held their kingdoms by their swords and from God alone. “Le rois,” said the great Saint Louis, “na point de souterrains es chooses temporieux.” French jurists came to aid their kings with a legal theory that served both as a defense weapon and a justification of the royal claim to supremacy. This was the theory, not so much of state sovereignty as it was of monarchical sovereignty. The king is sovereign above all, said Beaumanoir, and we name him when we speak of the sovereignty which belongs to him.

Originally, sovereignty was not conceived of as implying the monarch’s total independence as over against his various rivals. Still, before the end of the sixteenth century, it came to be regarded as absolute supremacy and therefore an indivisible power.

Sovereignty identified with the Monarch:

Originally conceived as a personal attribute of the monarch, sovereignty came in Bodin’s hand to be regarded as a constituent element of the state. However, Bodin himself did not avoid confusion, for he identified sovereignty with the power of a particular organ of the state. In France, this organ was the king, and to him, Bodin attributed the right of sovereignty. Bodin and Other early writers also fell in the error of confusing sovereign power with the power of government. Thus he enumerated as true marks of sovereignty the power to make laws, declare war, make peace, create offices, judge legal controversies, etc. In fact, these powers do not result from the notion of sovereignty but are nothing more than the usual prerogatives of the government’s particular organs. It is not unnatural that the sixteenth-century writers should have identified the state’s sovereignty with the monarch’s power, mainly because the struggle which gave rise to the conception of sovereignty was undertaken and sustained by the monarch himself to establish personal independence. As the king triumphed in the struggle, it was equally natural that sovereignty should have been regarded as belonging to him.6

Some Definitions of Sovereignty

Definitions of sovereignty, like definitions of the state, vary according to the Opinions of their authors. Bodin, the first writer to employ the term, defined it as the “summa in gives ac subtitles legibusque soluta potestas,” the supreme power of the state over citizens and subjects, unrestrained by law. Grotius, who wrote half a century later, defined it as the supreme political power vested in him whose acts are not subject to any other and whose will cannot be overridden.7 Black stone conceived it to be the supreme, irresistible, absolute, uncontrolled authority in which the Jura summi Imperii reside.8

Jellinek defined it as “that  characteristic of the state in virtue of  which it cannot be legally by any other power than itself.”9

Duguit says that sovereignty, according to the dominant theory in France, is the “commanding power of the state. It is the nation’s will organized in the state; it is the right to give unconditional orders. to all individuals in the territory of the state.”10

Burgess characterizes it as “original, absolute, unlimited power over the individual. subject and overall associations of subjects.”11

Again he calls It the underfunded and independent power to command and compel obedience.12


1.Compare Maine, Early History of Institutions (1875), P. 349. and  Willoughby, Nature of the State (1896), p. 185.

2.See his Politics, bk. III, ch. 7.

3.Viollet. Establishments de Saint Louis. vol. II, p. 370. Carré de Malberg, Theorie générale de létat, vol. I. pp. 73-74.

4.It is somewhat singular that the Germans have no word, which is the exact b equivalent of the English word sovereignty. They accordingly use a modified French term Sauveranitat. The German words Herrschaft Staatsgewalt, Obergewalt, and Staatshoheit, have to reference rather to the monarch’s power, the power of the state, and the dignity or majesty of the state than to sovereignty. Jellinek. Recht des modernen Staates, French translation. Vol. II, p. 128. Bluntschli, Theory of the State. p. 494 and Carré de Malberg. 0p.cit.p.86

5.Jenks, The State and the Nation (p. 260) remark that Cambridge colleges’ heads were designated as sovereigns in the last report in the fifteenth century.

6.As to this and the origin of the conception of sovereignty see especially Cané de Malberg, op. cit, pp. 72-78. Duguit, Létat, vol. I, pp. 339 3. Rehm, Allgemeine Staatslehre, pp. 40 of Meyer, Lehrbuch des deutschen Staatsrechts (6th ed), eh. I and Jellinek, op. cit, (French translation), vol. II pp. 78 ff.

  1. De Jute Belli et Pacis, bit I, ch. 3, Whewell’s ed., p. 112.
  2. Commentaries on the Laws of England, Chase’s ed., p. 14. Justice Story of the United States Supreme Court defined it in almost the same language see his Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, vol. 207.

9.Lehre von den Staatenverbindungen, p. 34, also his Recht des modStaates, pp. 421 ff.

10.Droit constitutionne,vol. I, p. 113.

  1. Political Science and Constitutional Law, vol. I, p. 52
  2. Political Science Quarterly, vol. III. p. 128. Other definitions are the following: Sovereignty is that power which is neither temporary nor delegated, nor subject to particular rules which it cannot alter, nor answerable to any other power on earth. Pollock. History of the Science of Politics, p. 49

Sovereignty is the state’s supreme will, Willoughby, Nature of the State, 9. 280. Cure de Malberg (op. cit, vol. I, p. 70) says Sovereignty is not a power but rather a quality. It is the supreme characteristic of a power supreme in that this power admits no other above it and no other to compete

SAKHRI Mohamed
SAKHRI Mohamed

I hold a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and International Relations in addition to a Master's degree in International Security Studies. Alongside this, I have a passion for web development. During my studies, I acquired a strong understanding of fundamental political concepts and theories in international relations, security studies, and strategic studies.

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