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Prepared by:

Ms. Nurfaizah Abbdullah

University Technology MARA, Sabah Branch
3.1 Definition of the State
3.2 Elements of the State
3.2.1 Population
3.2.2 Territory
3.2.3 Government
3.2.4 Sovereignty
3.3 Purposes of the State
3.3.1 Agent of Modernization
3.3.2 Provides the sense of togetherness
3.3.3 Provides a framework for social conduct
3.3.4 Fulfils the people needs
Plato & Aristotle: The state existed for the purpose of seeking
common good and moral perfection. It is a political association and
served as religious community and a socializing agency.
Marx: the state is a human community that (successfully) claims the
monopoly of the legitimate use of physical violence in a given
Dahl (1961): the states is a collection of individuals occupying role
positions (those of governing authority) and acting as a group to
Giddens (1985): a political organisation whose rule is territorially
ordered and which is able to mobilise the means of violence to
sustain that rule.
Roskin et al (2003): a govt. structure, usually sovereign and powerful
enough to enforce its writ.

of the Territory

Independence state

People are the ones who make the state. It must be
large enough to make and sustain it. It must consist of
series of families.

Every state has people within its borders. Ideally, is

should be a population with a sense of cohesion, of
being a distinct nationally.
It consists of two groups:
Citizen- persons formally recognised, have memberships in
the state. E.g. Malaysian identity card, MyCard.
Aliens- inhabitants who are not citizens of the state at the
time of residence. E.g. Tourist, foreign workers who have
passports come to Malaysia

Citizenship/ membership can be acquired by:

Birth (jus soli / law of the soil)
Law of blood (jus sanguinis)
Every state must occupies a specific geographical area.

There is no state without its proper territory and no territory

that is not part of some state (except Antarctica).

Inequality in size is not a big factor but resources found within

the boundaries of the territory is.

It consists of land, oceans, air space and underground.

Therefore, territory includes the geographical limits of the state,

its rivers and lakes, the natural resources, and the air space
A state must have some organising hold over its population.
Government is an agency to organise the population by
enforcing rules of conduct and ensuring obedience.
Government is the focus of the common purpose of the people
occupying a definite territorymakes policies, rules and
regulations, and promoting public interest.
It is the source of cohesion and means of collective action.
No government anarchy war
The state cannot and does not exist without a government, no
matter what form o government may assume.
Refers to the fount of authority in society. It is de jure
rather than de facto.
Doctrine: the state is the supreme decision-making
power within a geographically delineated frontier
(defined border) and is subject to external authority
only by its consent.
It belongs to the body which has the right to make
laws fir a country. E.g. Parliament.
Two aspects: internal and external.
By definition, all nations are sovereign and
independent but some are more sovereign and
independent than others.
Bolstering sovereign independence is diplomatic
recognition by other countries.
1. Agent of modernization

It planned the economic, education, health and social system.

Introduced new ways and technologies to be used in the


Built infrastructure and utilities.

E.g. Japan
2. Legislate law

Legislate law to be observed by the people. It has the authority

to force people to abide by the law.

The state should maintain a fair administration of justice.

E.g. Parliament
3. Provides a framework for social conduct

It regulates the social conduct of the citizens. All conduct must

conform to the law prescribed.

E.g. Rukun Negara

4. Provides the sense of togetherness

People identify themselves as the citizen of a state. The

attachment gives them a sense of pride, loyalty and love to the

E.g. Policy, programmes, 1Malaysia, Open House

5. Fulfills the people needs

The needs of the people is various and diversified and the

resources are limited. The state is there to distributing the
resources to fulfill the needs.

E.g. Taxation, National Economic Policy, National Development

Abdul Rashid Moten, Syed Serajul Islam. Intoduction to Political
Science. Singapore: Thomson, 2006, 2nd Edition.

Roskin, M.G. et al. Political Science. An Introduction. New Jersey:

Pearson Printice Hall, 2003.