Talk:Sovereign state

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Do some micronations fall under the definition of a sovereign state?[edit]

by the definition I would think so as long as they were to administer their territories independently from whatever nation they broke away from. However I think this definition is limited only to those micronations that fall more aspirant states then those which are publicity stunts or satires. Benuminister(talk) 21:33, 18 Jun 2014 (EST)

Should have a year for the map[edit]

Even if the map currently at the top of the article is current, there should be a "circa____". There have been too many changes in the past 3 decades to not have the year nailed down. IMHO (talk) 21:03, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

How many sovereign states are there in the world?[edit]

This is a natural question for readers of this article, and I think some sort of answer should be given, preferably in the introduction. Of course this is a contentious question, different sources differ, and the number changes a little with political events, but it looks like most sources put the number at between 180 and 200. I tried to add some numbers to the article, but was reverted. Thoughts? --ChetvornoTALK 16:09, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

Example of a country that is not a sovereign state or vice versa?[edit]

The article states very firmly that Country is not the same as Sovereign state. Can anyone give an example of a country that is not a sovereign state or vice versa? Thanks, p.r.newman (talk) 17:15, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

It all depends on what you mean by country, a word with a variety of definitions. The countries of the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland) are the most common English examples (no doubt as they include England), but other places like the Basque country are as well. Then of course there's the country, as opposed to the city. CMD (talk) 17:29, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
Until recently, many countries controlled others as "protectorates". The United States has a number of what it calls "territories" (a euphemism for colonies) some of which could be called countries: Puerto Rico, Guam, United States Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. --ChetvornoTALK 00:52, 23 September 2012 (UTC)
It isn't really a very fixed thing. The phrase sovereign state has a specialised meaning that country doesn't always possess. The World English Dictionary gives one definition as "1. a territory distinguished by its people, culture, language, geography, etc", which would include places like Scotland, the Basque Country, Greenland and Tibet to give a few examples. — Blue-Haired Lawyer t 11:52, 23 September 2012 (UTC)

Please let me add that popular word "country" has no meaning in international law. The technical legal term is "state." Also, a "state" is not the country as such, which can be defined any way one wants to. It is rather the entity that rules it or at least claims the right to do so (and which historically has been treated as having an unlimited right to control - i.e., sovereignty - its own nationals within that territory, aside - as the positivist doctrine of international law maintains - from voluntary limits made in agreements with other states; according to the more flexible definition accepted today, the right to engage in diplomatic relations with other states suffices, making it possible to speak of a state that is not fully sovereign. Even within its own territory, the state exists alongside non-state entities within the country (as in "separation of church and state"), although the doctrine of sovereignty would give the state the ultimate right to subordinate these entities. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Eleanor1944 (talkcontribs) 22:08, 6 October 2012 (UTC)

"Question of fact"[edit]

Something didn't make sense for me in this article: "The existence or disappearance of a state is a question of fact.[4]". I don't undertsand what that means. A "question of fact" is a specific concept for historians? Does it have a formal definition? Or does this article means simply "it is a question for you to decide whether it is a fact or not" ? Many thanks. --Lgriot (talk) 11:49, 14 December 2012 (UTC)

This could probably be improved if it says that it is a "matter of fact". (talk) 20:17, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

No - "Question of fact" is a specific legal concept (talk) 22:41, 28 September 2013 (UTC)

Merge to Westphalian sovereignty[edit]

User:Joe Bodacious proposed merging this article to Westphalian sovereignty without leaving an edit summary. The discussion is at Talk:Westphalian sovereignty#Merger proposals. — Blue-Haired Lawyer t 19:35, 29 January 2013 (UTC)

States are not Organizations[edit]

This article had begun by saying that a state is a kind of political organization when they are not. Governments are organizations. States are nonphysical social creations and as such it is impossible to see, hear, touch, taste or otherwise detect them. For more see James [1] Also see Robinson [2] for a complete argument against a state being an organization. Merek[3] and Crawford [4] also are also clear that a state is not an organization. In fact, Marek says states are nothing but bundles of international legal obligations.

There is probably confusion in this area because sometimes, particularly in the field of anthropology, the term "state" is used to to mean a particular form of government, but since wikipedia has different entries for "state" and "sovereign state" the difference in the terminology should probably be noted and the entry for "state" used to mean a particular type of government and "sovereign state" to be the nonphysical juridical entity of international law. Given that, it might also be the case that rather than moving "sovereign State" in with "Westphalian Sovereignty" it might be better to have an article for "State (International Legal Entity)" and then some kind of disambiguation page that directs some inquires about "states" to particular to a page on the particular for of government. (talk) 20:04, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

The United Kingdom is a country[edit]

Even though the United Kingdom is a unified unit made up from two for former sovereign states, the United Kingdom itself is a country and should not be used as an example to deterring from that fact. If you look on the "United Kingdoms" wikipedia page you will see it clearly states "the country includes", so there is already evidence that it is indeed referenced as a country on wikipedia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Thewarzone56 (talkcontribs) 14:02, 17 August 2013 (UTC)

Can a state that has voluntarily given up its sovereignty or entered into a binding union with another later resume it?[edit]

Just wondering if there are any examples of states which have voluntarily given up their sovereignty, or entered into a binding union with another state and later resuming it? Is there for instance a point at which it is no longer possible to undo the a free union, or is time not a factor?

There most be examples, but the one that springs to mind currently is the case of Scotland. I doubt anyone would disagree that Scotland was sovereign before 1707, and even after that date it had aspects of sovereignty like its own system of law, courts, education and church which were constitutionally protected from change. Is that residual sovereignty? Does the current referendum on Scottish Independence constitute an expression of the free will of the Scottish people to resume that sovereignty in full or is it an act of secession as some now claim? That said even at the time the union was not necessarily act of popular democratic choice, far from it. The parties to union were two equally sovereign states, surely then if the Act is abrogated the Union no longer exists and the original parties resume their separate status, ie Scotland and England (including N Ireland?). By what principle of international law does one party claim that the Act of Union of 1707 continues for them even though the original purpose of it is defunct?

Several of the current European states have had enforced periods of subjection to other states (Poland, Baltic States, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania etc) yet were welcomed back into the community of nation states. Why should it be so odd that a nation state that voluntarily merged with another state, could resume its sovereignty?

I think the sovereign state article would be enhanced if sources could be quoted to explain this. Freedom1968 (talk) 22:49, 16 February 2014 (UTC)

This probably isn't the forum for discussions of this nature, because it's not really related to what's in the article itself... but just to indulge it briefly, I personally find the UK govt. rhetoric with regard to Scottish independence odd. Despite the separation negotiations not yet starting, they talk as if all sovereign institutions (the currency, EU membership etc.) would automatically rest with the remnant UK (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) after separation. But, as you point out, the UK was formed as a union of sovereign entities and could possibly split as those as well.  — Amakuru (talk) 13:35, 17 March 2014 (UTC)

Point taken, though the topical nature of the Crimea issue does raise interesting questions about the nature of sovereignty in today's world. I agree with you on the Scotland point, interestingly the other "Union" of 1801 between Great Britain and Ireland was not between sovereign states, but an administrative reorganization. No united Irish state existed before 1171 or for that matter until 1541 when Henry VIII declared himself king. Should Scotland vote to reassert its sovereignty it must have a share of the assets, including those of N Ireland... England cannot claim to be the successor state, as Scotland is not seceeding from a state that existed prior to 1707. It was sovereign before 1707 and would be again. The exit of Scotland brings the Union of 1707 to an end, period. Furthermore If Scotland is not admitted to the EU automatically then England has to reapply as well.

Freedom1968 (talk) 23:48, 18 March 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ James, A. (1986). Soverign Statehood: The Basis of International Society. London, Allen & Unwin.
  2. ^ Robinson, E. H. (2010). "An Ontological Analysis of States: Organizations vs. Legal Persons." Applied Ontology 5(2): 109–125.
  3. ^ Marek, Krystyna. Identity and continuity of states in public international law. Vol. 64. Librairie Droz, 1968.
  4. ^ Crawford, J. (2006). The Creation of States in International Law. Oxford, Clarendon Press.