Sovereignty

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Related to Soverignty: State sovereignty, National sovereignty

Sovereignty

The legal right of a state to govern its own affairs in its own territory without outside interference. Sovereignty may reside with an individual (such as a monarch, sometimes known as a sovereign), a body (such as a parliament) or with the populace as a whole. The notion of sovereignty is less clear in federal governments like the U.S. and Canada, as sovereignty is split between the national government and the regional governments. This is a matter of considerable controversy in some countries.