In political theory, sovereignty is qualified as having ultimate authority over a domain. More specifically, the modern notion of sovereignty as it was born out of the Treaty of Westphalia (1648) links together several constituting elements: Sovereignty can therefore be defined as having ultimate authority over a population, within a given territory, and having this authority recognized by other sovereign entities. This basic definition highlights the internal and external character of sovereignty, as the exercise of authority over a given domain must necessarily be coupled with the recognition of the validity of said authority by others; because of this double nature, sovereignty can work as a basic principle for coexistence within a system of nation-states. Sovereignty is inextricably linked to the process of state-building, and ...

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