• Summary
  • Contents

Key Concepts in Governance provides a clear introduction to the technical concepts and policies of contemporary governance through short definitional essays. Each entry features a snapshot definition of the concept, a contextualization of the concept,  an overview of relevant debates, and a guide to further reading. The book also includes a substantial introductory chapter which gives an overview of governance studies as a whole, orientating and guiding the reader around the issues that the concepts address. 

State
State
Definition

The word ‘state’ arose from the Latin status, which referred to the different legal standings that people might have. A revival of Roman law in fourteenth-century Europe saw the word ‘status’ being used to pick out the different estates of the realm – king, lords, and commons – and to discuss the unique standing of the king within the realm. This use of ‘status’ chimed well with Roman discussions of the status rex publicae (the standing of the republic). By the end of the fourteenth century, terms like ‘status’ and ‘state’ could thus be used to refer to the condition and legal order of a given territory under an individual monarch.

Today the state is still used to designate both a geographical territory and the set ...

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