The most important concept here is “Sovereignty”. Sovereignty refers to the full and exclusive power of the state to determine the course of its destiny. It also refers to the right of states for self-determination, the supreme power of the state to enforce obedience among its people.
Its external manifestation is States Independence.
Two Types of Sovereignty
Sovereignty is of two types:
- Legal sovereignty – refers t6o the power of the state to enact laws.
- Political Sovereignty – refers to the supreme power of the people to determine or to elect the persons who will be in power.
Essentials of Sovereignty
The following are the essentials of Sovereignty:
- Perpetuity – it claims that sovereignty is inherent in state – sovereignty last as the state last.
- Comprehensiveness – it claims the inclusion of all elements within the jurisdiction of states.
- Exclusiveness – it claims that sovereignty is enjoyable only by a state – it is something which cannot be shared. In short, sovereignty is monopolized only by a single state.
- Absoluteness – the sovereignty or the supreme power or authority is totally assumed by the state. Sovereignty follows the principle of all or Non-Principle – all of sovereignty or none of it.
- Inalienability – it claims that sovereignty cannot be transferred.
- Unity – it claims that sovereignty is characterized by only one will. This one or general will of the people as expressed by the State.
Acquisition of Sovereignty
- There are two important things that we need to consider when a state receives or acquire sovereignty:
- Sovereignty is not a gift. It is not something which other state gives and can retrieve whenever they desire. Sovereignty starts to exist the moment a state is born. Thus, sovereignty is not given or can be taken away by other states.
- When people declare war for independence, sovereignty starts not at the moment of revolutionary success but at the moment of declaration. Once people resist foreign control or colonial authority and declare the birth of a new state, sovereignty starts to exist until their victory or up to the moment they are subdued.
Location of Sovereignty
Most political Scientists usually claim that political sovereignty rests in the people while Legal Sovereignty rest in the government specifically in the legislature. But it is more correct to consider the nature of the ideology that a state holds before we can address the problem of locating sovereignty. In Totalitarian Regimes like that of the former USSR and dictatorial regime like the Peoples Republic of China, political and legal Sovereignty rest entirely in the government. But in a Democratic States like the United States of America, Political Sovereignty rests in the People and legal Sovereignty rest in the government. But since the people elect their representatives in their government (in a democratic state of course) and can participate directly in law-making processes, we can say that in the final analysis sovereignty, be it legal or political, entirely rest in the people.