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Sovereignty, ultimate political power in a state. In political theory, debates on sovereignty center on the role of the sovereign and on the nature of supreme power—by what rights, and by whom, it should be wielded. A sovereign state is one that is independent of control by other states. The modern theory of sovereignty was developed by Jean Bodin and Thomas Hobbes (1756), who studied the sovereignty of monarchs. The extension of their thought has been applied to the modern state.

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