World Countries as Independent States

What is a country as an independent state in the theory and in practice?

Currently, there are two controversial theories of statehood. The constitutive theory says that only if a self-proclaimed entity is recognized by other sovereign states, it is a country. The declarative theory claims that no one nation needs the official recognition. In the current political reality, there are many exclusions from both theories.

In practice, any independent state must have:

  • an own territory with clearly defined borders;
  • a permanent population;
  • a government and other legal authorities;
  • sovereignty (the ability to be independent of others and to have absolute control over its own territory, govern, and protect it from external forces, execute laws and collect taxes);
  • the ability to maintain external relations (in practice, the official diplomatic relations can be established only if your statehood is recognized by partner states).

What is absolutely needed for each country?

There are some essential things needed for each independent state, which help to differ from others: the national flag, anthem, coat of arms, capital city, the passport of a citizen, official language (or languages), the official currency, ISO country code, international calling code, country domain. These attributes define the individuality of the nation, make it recognizable worldwide and are widely used in real life.

Country attributes