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By JEROME MICHAEL EBRUPHIYO/Politics/Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Top 8 Characteristics Of A State And Their Meaning

Hi there! Today we are going to discuss about the characteristics of a state and their meaning. It must be noted that a state differs from a kingdom and empire. Nigeria is an example of a state, while Owu is a good example of a kingdom and Oyo, an empire. This post will provide information on the top 8 characteristics of a State and their meaning and also provide answers to questions like: What are the characteristics of the states? What are the 4 characteristics of state? What are the five features of state? What is a State? What is the difference between a State and a Kingdom? Reasons Why People Obey the Laws of the State and Reasons Why Some People Disobey the Laws of the State.

What Is A State?

A state may be defined as a politically organized body of people inhabiting a defined geographical entity with an organized legitimate government.

Characteristics Of A State

1. Population

The most obvious essential feature of a state is its people. “States where the population shares a general political and social consensus (an agreement) about basic beliefs, have the most stable governments.”

2. Territory

A state or country or city has certain boundaries or territory. Conflicts can arise between states and countries over where borders should be placed. Boundaries can also be changed due to war, purchase or territory, or negotiations between governments.

3. Political Sovereignty

Political sovereignty means the state has absolute supreme authority within the boundary of its territory. It can make laws, shape foreign policy, and make its own actions without the approval of a higher authority.

4. Government

A government “is the institution through which the state maintains social order, provides public services, and enforces decisions that are binding on its citizens.”

5. Permanence

A state must be relatively permanent, unlike the government which changes from time to time. This permanence makes it possible for a state to develop as it should.

6. Legal Personality

A stste has the right to own property, to sue and it can be sued as well.

7. Recognition

For a territory to be called a state, it must be recognized by other states and international organizations that surrounds it. This recognition will hinder any form of violence or war for boundaries and the likes.

8. Head of State

Every modern state has a head of state. A state that operates the presidential system of government or an absolute monarchy has a single individual acting as both head of state and head of government.

Reasons Why People Obey the Laws of the State

  • Because they come from a law-abiding family
  • Because of moral obligations to the state
  • Some obey the law because they assume, and rightly so, that the laws are made for the general good of everybody in the state
  • Fear of punishment
  • It could also be for religious reasons
  • Loyalty to the government and for the purpose of ensuring stability and societal trust

Reasons Why Some People Disobey the Laws of the State

  • Maybe, the government in power may be deemed to be illegitimate
  • If the person is convinced that the law violates the fundamental human rights of the individual. For instance, Nelson Mandela disobeyed some of the apartheid laws at the risk of being imprisoned for similar reasons
  • In situations of a civil war or armed conflict, where there is a general breakdown of law and order, some people may choose to disobey the law of the state
  • Sometimes, a particular law may conflict with an individual’s conscience. This conflict may be on the grounds of religion, morality or ideology. For this reasons, they choose not to obey the law
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