Sovereign state, Relationship between state and government

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A sovereign state is a nonphysical juridical entity of the international legal system that is represented by one centralized government that has supreme independent authority over a geographic area. International law defines sovereign states as having a permanent population, defined territory, one government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither dependent on nor subject to any other power or state. The existence or disappearance of a state is a question of fact. While according to the declarative theory of state recognition a sovereign state can exist without being recognised by other sovereign states, unrecognised state


Although the terms "state" and "government" are often used interchangeably, international law is predicated on a distinction between nonphysical states and their governments, and in fact, the concept of "government-in-exile" is predicated upon the distinction between states and their governments. States are nonphysical juridical entities, and not organizations of any kind, though, ordinarily, only the government of a state is allowed to obligate or bind it, for example by treaty.

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External Links

  • WikipediaOpinions of the Badinter Arbitration CommitteeA Brief Primer on International LawWhat constitutes the sovereign state?

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