|Part of the Politics series|
A sovereign state, also known as a sovereign country, is a political entity represented by one centralized government that has supreme legitimate authority over territory. International law defines sovereign states as having a permanent population, defined territory (see territorial disputes), one government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood that a sovereign state is independent. According to the declarative theory of statehood, a sovereign state can exist without being recognised by other sovereign states. Unrecognised states will often find it difficult to exercise full treaty-making powers or engage in diplomatic relations with other sovereign states.
Article 1 of the Montevideo Convention on Rights and Duties of States, 1 lays down the most widely accepted formulation of the criteria of statehood in international law. It note that the state as an international person should possess the following qualifications: '(a) a permanent population; (b) a defined territory; (c) government; and (d) capacity to enter into relations with other states'.
So far as States are concerned, the traditional definitions provided for in the Montevideo Convention remain generally accepted.
A sovereign state is generally defined to be any nation or people, whatever may be the form of its internal constitution, which governs itself independently of foreign powers.
adj. 1. Self-governing; independent: a sovereign state.
adjective ... [ attrib. ] (of a nation or state) fully independent and determining its own affairs.
The Committee considers [...] that the state is commonly defined as a community which consists of a territory and a population subject to an organized political authority; that such a state is characterized by sovereignty; [...]