Characteristics Of A State

What are the characteristics of a state?

The characteristics of a state are that it must have sovereignty, an established government, clearly defined borders, and a permanent population.

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People have tried to define a state going at least as far back as the days of Plato. In 1933, representatives from a number of countries gathered in Uruguay to define what makes a state, in what became known as the Montevideo Convention. They came up with four defining characteristics that make up a state.

  1. A state must have a clearly defined territory. It needs to be clear where that state is geographically. Its territory can have natural borders, like a seacoast, or border the territory of another state.
  2. A state must have a permanent population. Antarctica has a clear territory, but since it has no permanent population, it cannot be considered a state.
  3. A state must have a functioning government. A state needs to be administered by a governing body with rules and laws that are applicable within the defined border of that state.
  4. A state must have the capacity to enter into relations with other states. This essentially means that a state is recognized by other states. In a sense, this is the...

(The entire section contains 5 answers and 819 words.)

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on November 13, 2019