What Is a “State”? – Definition, Features & Concept of the State
A state is a polity that is typically established as a centralized organisation. There is no undisputed definition of a state.
The State – Pure Definition of the “State”
A state may be defined as a politically organised body of people inhabiting a defined geographical entity with an organized legitimate government.
The state in this respect is entirely free from external control. The power of a state is also guaranteed with coercive power to secure obedience from the citizens.
A state is different from empires, kingdoms, chieftains etc. However – Nigeria, Portugal, U.S.A., Canada, England etc are good examples of states.
Features of State
A State possesses the following features of characteristics:
The state remains a permanent feature. Government can change many times but a state remains permanent.
A Defined Territory
A state has a defined territory with a limit to it’s size. It must have clearly defined boundaries, separating it from others. Things like waters, mountain, forest, air space etc make up th state.
Though government is not a permanent feature of a state but it remains a significant feature because it’s a machinery set up by the state to pilot the affairs of the people making up that state. The sustenance and prestige of a state are maintained by the government.
The supreme power to make decisions and enforces same on the people is with the state. The sovereignty of a state is not negotiable and must be free from external interference and control.
This is an important attributes of a state. For a state to be called a state, there must be a given number of people making up the entity. However, with time, such number is bound to increase.