Concepts of State and Government

Topics: Sovereignty, Political philosophy, Form of government Pages: 5 (959 words) Published: January 10, 2014
STATE is a community of persons more or less numerous permanently occupying a definite portion of territory, having a government of their own to which the great body of inhabitants render obedience, and enjoying freedom from external control.

Elements of State. The modern state has four essential elements.

1. People. This refers to mass of population living within the state. Without people, there can be no functionaries to govern and no subject to be governed.

2. Territory. It includes not only the land over which the jurisdiction of the state extends, but also the rivers and the lakes therein, a certain area which abuts upon its coasts and the air space above it.

3. Government. It refers to the agency through which the will of the state is formulated, expressed and carried out. It refers to the person or aggregate of those persons in whose hands are placed for the time being the function of political control

4. Sovereignty. It is the supreme power of the state to command and enforce obedience to its will from people within its jurisdiction and corollary, to have freedom from foreign control.

a. Internal, or the power of the state to rule within its territory

b. External, or the freedom of the state to carry outs its activities without subjection or control by other states.

Origins of State

1. Divine Right Theory. It holds that the state is of divine creation and the ruler is ordained by God to govern the people.

2. Necessity or Force Theory. It maintains that States must have been created through force, by some great warriors who imposed their will upon the weak.

3. Paternalistic Theory. It attributes the origin of States to the enlargement of the family which remained under the authority of the father or mother. By natural stages, the family grew into a clan, then developed into a tribe which broadened into a nation and the nation became a state.

4. Social contract theory. It asserts that the early states must have been formed by a deliberate and voluntary compact among the people to form a society and organize government for their common good.

State distinguished from nation



A political concept.

An ethnic concept. Nation is a group of people bound together by certain characteristics such as common social origin, language, customs and traditions, and who believe that they are one and distinct from others.

Not subject to external control;

May or may not be independent of external control

Single state may consist of one or more nations

A single nation may be made up of several states

State distinguished from government



A state cannot exist without a government

The government is only the agency through which the state expresses its will.

The state, as long as its essential elements are present, remain the same

A government may change. Its form may change

· The acts of the government are the acts of the state

Purpose and Necessity of Government

1. Advancement of the public welfare. Government exists and should continue to exist for the benefit of the people governed. It is necessary for-

a. Protection of society and its members

b. Security of persons and property

c. Administration of justice

d. Preservation of the state from external danger

e. Advancement of the physical, economic, social, and cultural well-being of the people.

2. Consequence of absence. Without any organized government, anarchy and disorder, and a general feeling of fear and insecurity will prevail in society, progress will not be possible and values taken for granted in a modern society such a truth, freedom, justice, equality, rule of law, human dignity can never be enjoyed.

Forms of government

1. As to number of persons exercising sovereign powers

a. Monarchy or...
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