Definition and Elements of State

If there is one thing we should take note concerning the concept of a State, it is this: State is a political entity, formed by men and women, based upon a definite territory free from external control, with a government of their own, and alterable (i.e. could be changed) by the ones who formed it.

Based from this definition, we have the following elements of States, which could also be considered as requisites for its existence:


  1. People (the population residing within the state territory)

  2. Territory (a finite, if not elastic boundaries, beyond which lie other states)

  3. Government (the aggregate of authorities which rule the state)

  4. Independence (freedom from external control, which presupposes recognition from other States)

  5. Sovereignty (refers to the right of the state for self determination, or to put it simply: the right of the State to manage or decide its own domestic affairs – we shall discuss this later)