Social Studies: What makes a State?

What makes a state? How do you define a country? I will try to define, simplify and explain the main definitions below.

What do you need to call yourself a country?

  • A territory with clearly defined borders.
  • A population, preferably with a strong sense of cohesion. I.e a population who believe they actually are part of your country.
  • Law and order with a strong basis, such as a constitution.
  • A government with a monopoly of coercive power. I.e a government with the unhindered power to rule your country.
  • Sovereignty. I.e no other state is allowed to violate your borders.
  • Last but absolutely not least: you need recognition from your neighbors. I.e you can not just take a piece of land and call it your country, the surrounding states (as well as the superpowers) need to accept you.

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