This chapter argues that the sovereign state needs to be viewed as a historically evolving and living entity that is constantly-in-making, whose internal and external structures, constituent social forces, political choices and cultural renderings continually shape its political character. It discusses the key components of the existing literature, especially from a theoretical and methodological standpoint. The chapter examines the meaning and import of the concepts of state and sovereignty from three vantage points: their theoretical notions; the underlying methodological assumptions; and the empirical realities. Shifting the gaze to another part of the world throws up a deeply cultural premise of sovereignty by the indigenous peoples of North America, Canada and Australia. Robert Jackson explains African sovereignty as part of a framework that juxtaposes “real states and positive sovereignty” in the global North with “quasi-state and negative sovereignty” in the global South.