The main criteria of national sovereignty
From a brief review of the theories of national-state sovereignty, it is obvious that most of their authors adhered to the conviction that, without sovereignty, there can not be a state without sovereignty. In turn, as G. G. Hegel noted, sovereignty is impossible without a national state.
Of particular interest is the issue of sources of sovereignty. Its significance will become obvious if we consider that up to the XVIII-XIX centuries. The overwhelming majority of states had a personalized character and, in fact, was identified with the personality of the hereditary monarch. And it was believed that the source of his power is the divine will.
As already mentioned, the theory of the contractual origin of the state was gradually formed, including as the fundamental idea of power rooted in the will of the people. Its essence consisted in the assumption that since all power comes from the people, then it can not be recognized as greater divinity than for the people themselves, whose representative this authority is. This thesis has become the elementary truth of almost all modern liberal-democratic theories of politics and political systems.
In this regard, it is important to take into account that before the emergence of a modern national state, the power of a political center did not cover the entire population and all the territories under its control in equal measure. What seemed to be a single political-state entity or space, in fact, was a conglomeration of many provinces, principalities, possessions that had some form or volume of power. The further they moved away from the center, the weaker the center grasped. So often on the periphery of the state, vast territories politically enjoyed a significant share of independence. In this sense, those authors who in the opinion of the states and empires had possessions, but not clearly delimited borders, before the establishment of national states, are correct in this sense.
The period of feudalism was characterized by a system of mutually overlapping connections and responsibilities, in which the entire European continent was fragmented into many small, autonomous but related parts. Thus, in the Apennine peninsula, the Roman Pope, the Holy Roman Emperor and the Emperor of Byzantium, simultaneously claimed for most of the territory. Moreover, local rulers and semi-autonomous cities also claimed the same territories.
As a result, no ruler or state could be considered sovereign in the sense of having supreme power over a given territory and a specific population. There were state entities that did not fully control their territories in the sense that they did not have a monopoly on legitimate violence in the territory under its jurisdiction.
For example, feudal states through their fingers looked at armed clashes and conflicts between their vassals, but on the condition that the latter do not forget about their duties to the supreme overlord. In this regard, it is pertinent to note the existence of 500 state entities in Europe, including in Germany prior to its unification in the late 60s - early 70s. XIX century. 300 such formations.
During the New Age, the political map of Europe radically changed. And, indeed, the national state in the strict sense of the word only for about 200 years fulfills the role of the main subject of power and the regulator of public and political relations, including international relations. Germany and Italy, as we know them in the modern form, came out on the socio-political proscenium only in the second half of the 19th century.
A centralized national state is guided more by national or national rather than dynastic interests of one or another ruling house. As far as the formation of large national states and the absorption of many small political entities by them and the precise fixation of state borders, the political map of Europe took on a completely different form. Thus, by 1900 the number of states had dropped to about 25.
Thus, the theory of national or state sovereignty was formed along with the idea of a nation-state. And indeed, sovereignty is one of the fundamental essential characteristics of the state, the more so of the modern national state. It determines the very existence of the state.
The sovereign power does not depend on any other authority, on the contrary, all other authorities depend on it. The state can only be sovereign. As R. von Eering pointed out, "the absolute, conditional goal of the state itself is the requirement that - the state power be within the state of the highest dominant over any other power. Any other authority, whether it comes from an individual or is owned by many, must be under state power, the latter must be above it. "
Sovereignty is designed to ensure the unification, unity, self-determination and functioning of the power system and serves as a criterion for distinguishing the state from other forms of self-organization of human communities. The essence of this theory is that in the state with all social, cultural, national, confessional and other forms of pluralism, there is only one power and there can not be any other power structure in the territory under the jurisdiction of this state.
This principle is especially important from the point of view of the possibility or, rather, the impossibility of creating within the given territory any armed formations not provided for by the constitution and the laws in force. In this territory, any associations, associations, unions that pursue political goals can be considered legitimate only if they recognize the supreme authority of that state. Otherwise, they are considered illegal.
In other words, the state is wholly and exclusively owned by supreme authority over all other concrete forms and manifestations of power throughout the territory to which the jurisdiction of that state extends. Here it is meant that all other collectives - communities, families, associations, provinces, partnerships - are subordinate to the state in question.
Sovereign power does not depend on any other authority, on the contrary, all other authorities depend on it, take their legitimacy from it. A state can only be sovereign. Sovereignty is the fundamental criterion of the state. If there is no sovereignty, then there is no state.
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