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07 MAY, 2017(MAINS)



Q1. Explain Harol Laski’s critique of sovereignty. (2015/10/200 words)


Please write the answer in comments section

  • Ashish

    Laski was the exponent of the pluralistic theory of sovereignty. Instead of monistic sovereignty, Laski emphasised on democratization of power. Laski advanced vigorous criticism of the state sovereignty and equated it with the divine right of the kings. Followings are the criticism imposed by Laski:-
    1. He stated that customs and traditions substantially limit the exercise of sovereign power. Example- Fundamental Right to religion somehow curtains the sovereign powers of state.
    2. Also in the interdependent world it is not possible for a state to be completely sovereign. Example- Trade blocs/agreements pose some conditions to be fulfilled by the participating state which must be obliged to harness the benefits.
    3. The theory of sovereignty does not hold merit in the analysis of a political organisation. Example- in federal system of government there is distribution of sovereignty between state government and central government. Moreover, in coalition government, sovereignty authority is distributed among coalition partners.
    4. Sovereignty which seems unlimited is limited under the influence of pressure groups be it religious, civil society, trade unions or corporate lobbies.
    5. Laski distinguishes between state and government to demonstrate the inadequacy of absolute and unlimited sovereignty. He said that every government is composed of fallible men and their authority must be checked so that they don’t misuse their powers.