The evolution of modern sovereign states: a conceptual study in International Relations

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Neville D’Cunha


In the 21st century’s volatile and fast changing world, it is important to understand how things really work on the global stage. Hence, the aim of this article is to emphasize the practical reality of this fast changing world and to connect that practical reality with the academic study of international relations. Many important questions in the study of International Relations (IR) are connected with the theory and practice of sovereign statehood which is the central historical institution of global politics. This article makes that connection by focusing on the core historical subject matter of IR: modern sovereign states and the international relations of the states system. After outlining the historical evolution of the state system, further, three main factors that every state has to take into consideration to foster their existence and continuing relevance will be briefly stated and then a conclusion will be drawn. This conceptual study can enable us to understand the historical and social basis of states and the states system as the basic feature of modern political life.This study can make a significant contribution in knowing with certainty whether the states system is now becoming obsolete, or whether states will find ways of adapting to new challenges in the era of globalization. This article can serve as a beginner’s guide to IR students and instructors with implications for both in-depth study and research.

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D’Cunha N. The evolution of modern sovereign states: a conceptual study in International Relations. ANSDN [Internet]. 15Dec.2020 [cited 3Oct.2022];8(1):194-00. Available from:
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