Over the last few decades, and in spite of what you may have heard from the high priests of international relations, state sovereignty is a relic-venerated and useful to explain many events in world politics but without the magic powers to predict all developments claimed by true believers. Let us begin with a definition: a sovereign state is a political entity that has a centralized government and unquestioned authority over a defined geographic area and its permanent population as well as the capacity to enter into external relations; it is not subject to any other power or any other state. Without overarching authority (the definition of anarchy), a dog-eat-dog world results in which each state will push as far as it can to advance its own perceived self-interests.