Basic Concepts in Government 6

Definition of a State: A state is essentially a politically organized community of people residing within a specific geographical territory. It is characterized by an organized government that operates independently, possesses coercive power to enforce obedience, and is free from external control.   Characteristics of a State: Population: A state must have a certain number […]

Definition of a State:

A state is essentially a politically organized community of people residing within a specific geographical territory. It is characterized by an organized government that operates independently, possesses coercive power to enforce obedience, and is free from external control.

 

Characteristics of a State:

  1. Population: A state must have a certain number of people without specified minimum or maximum limits.
  2. Territory: The state needs a defined territory, encompassing land, air, and natural features, with distinct boundaries.
  3. Government: An effective state is governed by a system that formulates and enforces laws, ensuring its existence and functionality.
  4. Sovereignty: The state has the authority to make and enforce laws within its territory without external influence.
  5. Recognition: Internally and externally, the state must be acknowledged by other nations in the international arena.
  6. Membership: Citizenship is mandatory for individuals, acquired either by birth or other means.
  7. Law: The state must have a legal system that binds all residents and groups, outlined in its constitution.
  8. Permanence: A state is considered permanent, remaining intact unless conquered in war.

 

Definition of a Nation:

A nation is a collective of people united by common cultural ties, shared origins, and descent. It shares political aspirations and a consciousness of unity, known as “nationalism.”

 

Comparison of State and Nation:

A nation possesses all attributes of a state, except sovereignty. To be recognized as a state, a nation must gain political independence and have supreme power to make and enforce laws. The key distinction lies in sovereignty.

 

Political Culture:

Political culture encompasses attitudes, beliefs, emotions, sentiments, ideas, and values guiding people’s political behavior within a state. It develops over time, influencing aspects such as election methods, tolerance, and factors promoting democracy.

 

Components of Political Culture:

  1. Cognitive Orientation: People’s knowledge about the political system and beliefs about government.
  2. Evaluative Orientation: The citizens’ ability to assess government performance and the efficiency of policies.
  3. Affective Orientation: People’s feelings toward the political system, government, and political institutions.

 

Factors Influencing Political Culture:

  1. Different Ethnicity: Distinct cultural beliefs within tribes impact political culture.
  2. Historical Development: Society’s historical evolution shapes and influences its political culture.
  3. Colonial Mentality: European colonial legacies impact political structures and beliefs in regions like Africa, Latin America, and Asia.
  4. Socio-economic Structure: Urban and developed societies tend to have higher educational standards and greater participation in decision-making.
  5. Political Instability: Continuous instability in the political system affects people’s attitudes and values towards politics negatively.

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