All About Politics And Government
What is the definition State?
The central concern of political science is the state. It is a natural institution because it is rooted in the reality of human nature. The word ‘state’ as defined above is a people organized for law within a definite territory, exercising both internal and external sovereignty. Aristotle said the state existed for the purpose of seeking common good and moral perfection. They are divided into 2, governing group will be the government called the ruler and subjects is the citizen, population ruled by the government.
State is politically organised people of definite territory. (Bluntschli). Therefore, these attributes constitute the very essence of statehood must have its population, a definite territory, a duly established government, and sovereignty.
How does the state exist? As a Muslim, an immediate answer is that the state is Allah’s creation. The state is purposely created by Allah to all mankind as a temporary place for them to make a preparation for hereafter. The existence of the state was exactly very difficult to know because there are no historical proves with certainty the origin of the state. This chapter elaborate development of statehood based on the known theories of origin.
2.0 CONCEPT OR ELEMENTS OF STATE.
Population is derived from the Latin word populus which means people. It is the fundamental of a state because a state will not exist without population. But, a population should be large enough in order to make a state and sustain it. Population is also known as group of people living together permanently. By living together, they develop the same values such as culture, heritage and history. With these values, the sense of togetherness among them is strong. In a population, most of them share the same ideology as long as majority rules. This make a state becomes stable and systematic. A state mostly has an official language. For example, Malaysia is a country that consists of people from different races, religions and culture. But, they share almost similar values and cultures. Plus, they use Bahasa Malaysia as the official language.
Population also consists into 2 groups. They are citizen and alien. Citizen is people entitled to citizenship in a state by birth (jus soli). Any person born on the soil of a state is automatically entitled citizenship. Another method of having citizenship is called jus sanguinis (law of blood). In this category, citizenship is under inheritance. For example, a baby is born to French couple, this make the baby as a French citizen. The second group which is aliens are people from another state living in a different state legally or illegally. But, these people are also able to apply for citizenship under the rule of naturalization.
There is no limit for a number of people living in a state. But, the population must be sufficient to maintain the state organization.
Territory is a land where people live on permanently and continuously. There can be no state without territory. As far as we concerned, there is connection between population and territory to create what we called citizenship. A territory may also develop the sense of patriotism in our heart. Some countries called their country as “Motherland” while some called it “Fatherland”. The people are willing to sacrifice everything for their country.
Territory of a state is not only on the land. It includes the ocean, airspace and underground. They all work under contemporary international law. Majority of states nowadays accept at 12 nautical miles limit for water territory. Underwater territory is also considered as they can manage oil drilling rigs and the possibility of mining mineral resources. For example, Malaysia has the right to drill oil in some part of South China Sea for their own advantage. The state also controls the airspace above their territory. So, flying above a territory without permission of the government in charge is strictly illegal.
The state must emphasized that there should be some proportion between the population and territory of state. If they failed to do so, it might affect their economy and political stability. So, it is crucial for the state to have an efficient defense in all area and administration.
The purpose for which people live together can’t be realized unless they are properly organized and accept certain rules of conduct. The agency created to enforce such rules of conduct and ensure obedience is called government. A government is an agency that has monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force in a given territory (Max Weber). Without government, there will be chaos in territory. People will live separately according to their believes. Government is functional to formulate and carries out politics.
Other than that, government makes full use of its power to ensure domestic order, maintain security and welfare of its population. For example, the government of Malaysia controls all of administration and its resources. Government is the body of the people and they are responsible to enforce the law. A state government has the power to control their people by force if things get out of control.
Government becomes the focus of the people as the medium that policies are determined, common affairs are resolved and common interests are promoted. It is all for the well being of the people.
Sovereignty is the most essential element in a state. It is the right to be independent from any internal or external threat. It is the power and legal authority to be free from any conqueror. It means, the state is the supreme decision-maker. In Malaysia, this body is the Parliament. Sovereignty is separated into two groups. It has internal and external sovereignty. Internal sovereignty refers to the right of state to apply their laws within their boundaries. These laws can’t be shared in any states outside of their boundaries. For example, Malaysia has the right to exercise their laws only in their territories that has been claimed.
External sovereignty means recognition in international law that the state has authority over a territory. It means that the state is answerable for that jurisdiction in international law. For example, the UN gave permission to Israel to occupy some of the territories in Palestine. Until now, the Israel has the authority to exercise their law in Palestine.
In conclusion, sovereignty belongs to the government which has the right to make laws for a state.
3.0 TWO THEORIES RELATING THE EXISTENCE OF STATE.
Theory of divine origin.
It is the oldest and ancient theory of state’s existence. It explains a state by a supernatural power for example God. The king appointed by god and accountable to God. The ruler (king) is above the people and their law thus subjected to no earthly authority.
Man are incapable of making any laws. They have no power to control the authority. Obeying the king is a religious duty. He can create any law what he wanted to. The king is above the law, the higher of population. Only God can punish him.
Disobedience to the king is a sin and liable to punishment. King’s power is limitless and absolute. The power have no limits, he can take property from the citizen, so the citizen must obey the king.
The theory finds its strength with the support in the scriptures of some religions like Hinduism and Christianity. It has been wrongly assumed by most people that Islam subscribes to a theocratic state. In Islam, every human being, not the ruler alone, is described as the vicegerent of God. Vicegerent means monarch.
There could be no civil society without the rule of the king. The only choice for the people was to submit to the authority of the ruler to save them from anarchy and chaos prevailing in the state of nature (Kapur,2004). The only one choice man has is to submit to the authority of the king to save themselves from anarchic ruling of the state of nature. Anarchic means here is the rules of individual. In other words, do your rules on your own.
The monarch is divinely appointed by God. Power is transferred hereditarily. The monarch is answerable to God alone. Résistance / opposition to the monarch authority is a sin according to this theory.
Theory of force.
This theory argues that the state came into existence through brutal force.
This theory is based upon the conception of human nature. Men argue. Like animals,
there is an appetite for power in them. The strong captures the weak and exercises authority over them. Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) wrote in his book, the prince.
He is an Italian philosopher who was one of the main founders of modern
Tell us of a new ruler (The Prince) who had to stabilize his new found power to
build along term political structure. This theory tells us that is born out force. It emphasized on the ‘survival of the fittest’ concept. Weaker party submit to the strong. ‘Survival of the fittest’ means live as long as you want for brute forces is the foundation of the state. By being harsh, it forces the citizen or population to accept their government. For example in ancient England, the kingdom can do whatever they want to the population such as taking the property from citizen. Many poor people have been victim by their government. The ruler is willing to act immorally in order to defend his ruling. He can do whatever he wants to maintain power.
Machiavellian emphasized the usage of brute force and deceit in order to gain
and maintain power. For example, the ruler lied to other people for the stabilization
in their state. Force is an essential feature of the state. Strength is the
justification to conquer other such as Japanese using the power of military began the
war in World War II by attacking Asian country like Singapore, Indonesian, China and South Korean for their own property.
Once a state is established, force is used as an instrument to maintain internal
order and secure from external aggression. The strength of state depend on their
brute force to chased the invaders. In other word, invader must die.
4.0 COMPARISON THE THEORY OF STATE.
Divine origin is the oldest theory of state in the world. In the great dynasty of China, the emperors were looked by the people as God’s appointer. The emperors were always right and every decisions he made are accepted by the people. In the eyes of the people, he does not commit any sins. The emperors were the one who judge the wrongdoers in the state. He has the power to give decisions in the court and to give any sort of punishments to the guilty. Other than that, the emperor himself was appointed as the General of the army who control the whole operation of its batalion. Although China has stopped using the emperor as the head of the state, they are still applying the method of one man decision. In short, divine origin is where a man makes a final decision and his power are limitless.
In the theory of force, we may look back to the verge of World War II. World War II erupted when Germany invaded Poland and breaking Versailles Treaty by building a massive army. The Germans at that time are obsessed with their powerful leader, Adolf Hitler. He called the state as Third Reich. His cruelty are evident as he built a detention camp where he killed millions of Jews. This ethnic cleansing has destroyed more than half of the Jewish population around the world. Germany occupied many European countries such as Poland, Austria, France, Belgium and many more. The Third Reich use force as the main element to occupy territories to create a state called Great Germany
From this post, we can understand the definition of state. Their theory and usage from all over the world differs from what we may practised. Whatever it is, every state has their own pros and cons. According to the elements of state, that will be population, territory, sovereignty, government.
The history of the past should be studied in order to know the general creation of state. We can gain more general knowledge about world and how was state has created. What we studies can be related in our life like how to be a good citizen or population, our responsibility to maintain the sovereignty of the state we live. For example, we must follow the rule and administrative of our state, Malaysia. We must take care of our territory like we care about our family.
Government needs to govern the people and organized the development of the state. To govern well, the government enforced it sovereignty and make sure the citizen obey the rules while foreign state respect the laws of the state.
The existence of the state can be related to several theories. One of the theories is ‘divine origin’ where the citizen believe the king was chosen by god and they have to obey without permission.
1. Peter Lassman. 1989. Politics And Social Theory. London Routledge.
2. John A. hall & G. John Ikenberry. 1989. The state , Milton keynes
Open University Press.
3. Politics & Government, Karl W. Dentsch, 1974 (Houghton Miffin company)
4. The political Science Student, Gregory M. Scoot, Stephen M. Garrison,
5. Mein Kamph, Adolf Hitler. 1992. Translated by Ralph Mancheim with introduction by D.C WATT.
1. West’s Ensiklopedia of Theory of state (Full Articles) from Answer.Com
2. Reference for State and the territory-search.com