Sovereignty: Definition, Origin And Types Of Sovereignty

Table Of Contents

1. Meaning Of Sovereignty
2. Origin Of Sovereignty
3. Features Of Sovereignty
4. Types Of Sovereignty

Sovereignty is the supreme power of the state over the citizens and subjects without any influence from external authority. A sovereign state therefore has absolute power to make and enforce laws within its territory without any external influence.

The person or body of persons exercising the powers of state sovereignty is also referred to as “Sovereign”.

Origin: The idea of sovereignty originated from a French political philosopher called “Jean Bodin” (1530 – 1590). However, the excess of Jean Bodin developing the concept of sovereignty was to resolve political and religious crises that arose between European rulers and their subject. The European rulers however, accused and quarrel with the people for familiar big, political union called “Christiandom”. They also went further to accused the people of having use his organisation to disorganise and also create political crisis in their respective talkers. This is in order to reduce this crisis, some political philosopher thinker like Jean bodin, Hobbes etc, then developed the concept of sovereignty.

Features Or Characteristics Of Sovereignty

The following are the characteristics of sovereignty:

1. Absoluteness Or Unlimited: The power of sovereignty has no limit or restriction, hence it receives orders from none.

2. Permanence: It does not change but last as long as the state exists.

3. Indivisibility: Sovereignty cannot be divided or shared through government and can delegate powers to certain agencies.

4. Comprehensiveness: It is wide in scope and all embracing and binding to all people.

5. Independent Of Foreign Control: A sovereign states is independent of foreign control.

Types Of Sovereignty

1. Legal Sovereignty
2. Political Or Popular Sovereignty
3. Internal Sovereignty
4. External Sovereignty

1. Legal Sovereignty: This is the supreme authority of the state exercise by the government and to enforce laws on the state without any external interference.

2. Political/Popular Sovereignty: This is the supreme power of electorate to change any government of their choice through election.

3. Internal Sovereignty: This is the supreme power of the state to exercise power over her citizen to its agents.

4. External Sovereignty: This has to do with the supreme power of a state to pilot its affairs within its geographical territory and also free from external country.

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