NCERT Chapter Summary: Power Sharing

In a democracy, all power does not rest with any one organ of the government. An intelligent sharing of power among legislature, executive and judiciary is very important to the design of a democracy.

Why power sharing is desirable? Firstly, power sharing is good because it helps to reduce the possibility of conflict between social groups. Since social conflict often leads to violence and political instability, power sharing is a good way to ensure the stability of political order.

Secondly, power sharing is the very spirit of democracy. A democratic rule involves sharing power with those affected by its exercise, and who have to live with its effects. People have a right to be consulted on how they are to be governed.

Forms of power-sharing: In modern democracies, power sharing arrangements can take many forms.

  1. Power is shared among different organs of government, such as the legislature, executive and judiciary. This is called horizontal distribution of power because it allows different organs of government placed at the same level to exercise different powers.
  2. Power can be shared among governments at different levels - a general government for the entire country and governments at the provincial or regional level. Such a general government for the entire country is usually called federal government.
  3. Power may also be shared among different social groups such as the religious and linguistic groups.
  4. Power sharing arrangements can also be seen in the way political parties, pressure groups and movements control or influence those in power.