Difference Between Internal and External Sovereignty

Sovereignty refers to the dominant power or supreme authority in the decision-making process of a state. There is essentially an internal and external dimension to sovereignty. Let us understand the difference between internal and external sovereignty in sociology.

Understand the Difference Between Internal and External Sovereignty in Sociology

What is Sovereignty?

Sovereignty is understood as the sum of the supreme and unlimited political power that an independent State possesses and that gives it the necessary authority to autonomously make its own decisions at all levels.

Sovereignty is the highest authority in which resides the political and public power of a people, a nation or a State over its territory and its inhabitants. It is also the independence of any State to create its laws and control its resources without the coercion of other States.

Popular sovereignty is an example of an expression of authority. So is national sovereignty (exercised by the State), internal sovereignty (the power exercised within a territory) and external sovereignty (the authority exercised by a State in relation to its peers).

The violation of the sovereignty of a country or a State can have tragic consequences, such as the start of a war.

Popular sovereignty is the power exercised by the people or a group of citizens living in a particular territory. This form of sovereignty implies the voting exercise of individuals, with which decisions of public interest are made and government representatives are elected.

The Difference between Internal and External Sovereignty

Internal sovereignty refers to a government’s authority and control over its population and territory, while external sovereignty relates to a state’s independence and recognition by other states.

Internal sovereignty is essential to maintain social order, while external sovereignty guarantees a state’s ability to conduct international relations. In internal sovereignty, no other state can influence its laws, while in external sovereignty, other states can participate.

Let us understand the difference between internal and external sovereignty more clearly.

Internal sovereignty

Internal sovereignty is the capacity of a State to exercise authority within its territory, as established in its constitution and its formal institutions.

The organization of powers (executive, legislative, and judicial) and civil law is an expression of the internal sovereignty of the state in implementing actions, issuing laws, or making decisions.

Internal sovereignty is reflected in other areas that have to do with the internal management of a State’s resources:

Food sovereignty: it is the power that each State has to define the policies that have to do with the production of their food.

Economic sovereignty: it is the authority of a State to create and implement measures related to its currency (currency value, exchange rate, interest rates, etc.).

Military sovereignty: refers to the ability of the State to protect its borders using its own Armed Forces, without requiring the intervention of other States.

External sovereignty

External sovereignty is that which a State exercises in the international arena with other States. It is expressed through diplomacy and international treaties, and its limits are regulated by international law.

The example of external sovereignty is when a nation protects its territory against foreign aggression. By defending yourself, you are using your sovereignty to prevent another nation from interfering in your territory.

Other examples of external sovereignty include international treaties, where each state assumes a series of legal obligations with other peers. These treaties are established within the framework of international law but do not affect the authority that each state has over its territory.

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