Sovereignty: Meaning, Features Of Sovereign State, Types And Limitations Of Sovereignty

Table Of Contents

  • Meaning Of Sovereignty
  • Features Of Sovereignty
  • Types Of Sovereignty
  • Limitations Of Sovereignty

What Is Sovereignty?

Sovereignty is the supreme authority and power of the state which the govern it’s citizens without any interference. A sovereign state has the power to compel the citizens obey the laws with every legal sanctions to employ without external control interference.

The idea of sovereignty is from Jean Bodin (1530-1590) a French political thinker and philosopher.

Features Of Sovereign State

1. Permanence: As long as the state exist, Sovereignty continues without intervention. It is a permanent attribute of the state which does not change.

2. Independence Of Foreign Control: A sovereign state is no longer under the control of any external power.

3. Supremacy Of The State: The supreme power and authority to make and enforce law i.e within the state. Sovereignty makes the state supreme over the citizens.

4. Unlimited Power: The power of a sovereign state cannot be restricted. There is no limitation to legal process within it’s area and received orders from none.

Types Of Sovereignty

1. Legal Sovereignty: This type of sovereignty lies in the body that makes the laws for the state. The parliament as in Britain has the supreme power to make laws and also to amend.

2. Political Or Popular Sovereignty: This is the ultimate power of the people to establish their own government and exercise ultimate control over the government.

3. Internal Sovereignty: This is the power of the state to exercise the supreme power over the state.

4. External Sovereignty: This is the supreme power of the state to manage it’s affairs as it wishes within it’s territorial jurisdiction. The state also has the power to decide on how to relate with other nations of the world on equal basis.

Limitations Of Sovereignty

1. International Law: This is concerned with the relationship among nations of the world. State that disobey these laws faces sanctions from the international body.

2. Foreign Aids: When a nation received technical, economic or military aids from another nation, the leading nation tend to have remote control over the recipient.

3. International Treaties And Agreement: Nation keep to the terms of international treaties and agreements to which they are parties. Examples are the ECOWAS treaties, trade agreements etc.

4. Customs And Traditions: Sovereign states often respects the custom and traditions of the people. These often conditions government policies.

5. Military Agreements Or Pacts: Two or more countries can agree to co-operate and join their military efforts. In doing so, they owe each other loyalty E.g, The North Atlantic Trealy Organization (NATO), WARSAW pact etc.

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