Published online by Cambridge University Press: 05 June 2012
A defining aspect of national sovereignty is that nation states have the right to determine which people are permitted to come within their geographical borders. Individuals, like nations, appear to be inherently territorial. In addition to this, a defining aspect of many people's personhood (their core identity) is the place where they were born or live.
Despite the disparate range of interests and projects that individuals have and pursue, there are basic goals that communities invariably share. Thus, in Australia, the current generation (building on the work of earlier generations) has committed enormous resources to building state institutions (such as our political and legal system), hospitals, schools, roads and recreational and sporting amenities and facilities.