Global Politics Essay

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Global Politics

The study of international or rather global politics, seeks to provide an account of politics in the broadest domain. The domain of international politics in the twenty-first century is characterised by the increasing number of actors pursuing common and personal interests. It is largely due to the globalised, interdependent nature of the current international political environment that the concepts of sovereignty and power deserve further evaluation.

The exercise of authority and power are facts as old as time, throughout the ages men have tried to explain and understand how and why political authority is organised. Sovereignty is a concept used to explain political power, to
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But the appearance of the concept is still delayed until the community and its government, society and state, remaining necessarily distinct in some respects, have integrated to a certain extent in others. It is only when the community responds to the state and the state responds to the community in which it rules that the discussion of political power can take place in terms of sovereignty" (1986:21).

The importance of what Hinsley said lies in the fact that sovereignty cannot exists without a state and will not be found in societies in which there is no state structure. Sovereignty is a political idea, a form of legitimation, a way of thinking about power and rule (Hinsley 1986:25). The question that then must be asked is what caused people, rulers, philosophers and scholars to begin to think about power and rule in terms of state and sovereignty?

Since the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, the state has been regarded and accepted as the basic unit of international politics and the concept of the sovereignty of states was formally recognised. But the ideas of state and sovereignty had been slowly emerging in Europe in the centuries preceding 1648. The concept of the state emerged out of the collapse of the feudal system (Nossal
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