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I am author of the books Political Internet(Routledge, 2017), Intimate Speakers ( Fingerprint! 2017), has finished the typescript of three books—first, on Internet and sexuality; second, on the negative impacts of social media; and third, a novel—and is presently working on a narrative non-fiction with the working title Lovescape: Why India is afraid of love.

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Friday, November 26, 2010


There are two aspects of sovereignty

a) Internal sovereignty b) External sovereignty-Internal sovereignty means that the sovereign is the supreme authority over the individual and associations, withinits territory. External sovereignty means that the sovereign is anindependent entity, free from alien rule or control, in its conductwith other states and international organization.Modern state claims supremacy in internal matter and freedom from the control of external government on the basis of The attribute of the sovereignty. Sovereignty has the followingKinds Sovereignty can be classified into different kinds. This classification is based on the location of sovereignty.

Titular Sovereignty:By titular sovereignty we mean sovereignty by the titleonly. It refers to the sovereign powers of the king or monarchwho has ceased to exercise any real authority.In theory he may still posses all the powers but inpractice sovereign power is enjoyed by some other person orbody of persons.Titular sovereign is only a symbol of authority,a legacy of past. Britain presents a good example of titularsovereign. The king is the titular head and he does not enjoy anyreal powers. Actual powers are enjoyed by council of ministersand parliament. In India president is a titular sovereign and the cabinet is a real sovereign.

De Facto and De Jure Sovereignty:De facto sovereignty indicates to a sovereign whowithout legal support or constitutional support enjoys sovereignpower. De jure sovereign is recognized by law or theconstitution, but not in position to practice its power.In case of revolutions, that is a successful overthrow of the existing regime in a state tree may be de facto and de jure sovereigns. For example when Mussolini came to power in Italyin 1922, de facto sovereignty passed into his hands althoughVictor Emmanual was the de jure sovereign.The military dictatorship of the present world,established after a coup d’etate also represents de factosovereignty until it evolves suitable means to legitimize itsauthority.Usually de facto and de jure sovereign stay together for avery short period and the de facto sovereign tries to become DeJure sovereign. The de facto and de jure sovereigns should ultimately coincide; otherwise there is danger of conflictbetween them. New laws are made in order to give him definite status to the de facto sovereign to give it legal support.

Legal and Political Sovereignty:

Distinction is some times drawn between legal andpolitical sovereignty. The sovereign is supposed to be absoluteand omnipotent. It functions according to its own will. Law issimply the will of sovereign.There is none to question its validity. Legal sovereigngrants rights to its citizens and there can be no rights againsthim. It means rights of citizens depend on the will of legalsovereign and any time he can take away. Legal sovereignhas following characteristics-

1. The legal sovereignty is always definite and determinate .2. Legal sovereignty may reside either in one person or in abody of persons.3. It is definitely organized, precise and known to law.4. Rights of citizen are gift of legal sovereign.5. The will of state is expressed by the legal sovereign only.6. Legal sovereignty is absolute. It cannot be question.

In Britian King in Parliament is the sovereign. In U.S the legal sovereign consists of the constitutional authoritiesThat have the power to amend constitution.But behind the legal sovereignty there is another power, which is unknown to law. It is political sovereignty. In practice absolute and unlimited authority of the legal sovereignty doesnot exist anywhere. Even a dictator cannot act independently andexclusively. The will of legal sovereignty is actually sharpened by many influences, which are unknown to law. All theseinfluences are the real power behind the legal sovereign; and this is called political sovereignty. As Professor Gilchristsays- “The political sovereign is the sum total of the influencesin the state which lie behind the law.” The political sovereigntyis not known to law. In modern representative democracies the politicalsovereignty is very often identified with either thewhole mass of he people or with electorate or with publicopinion. The legal sovereign cannot act against the will ofpolitical sovereign.

Popular Sovereignty:When the sovereignty resides in the people of he state it iscalled as popular sovereignty. This theory was expounded by Rousseau, when later became the slogan of French Revolution.The doctrine of popular sovereignty regards people as the supreme authority. It is people who decide right or wrong. People are not bound by any natural or divine law.Government exists only as a tool for the good of the people. It should be held directly responsible to the people. It can exercise authority only on the basis of the law of land.Will of the people should not be ignored popular sovereignty is the basis of modern democratic system

PLURALIST THEORY OF SOVEREIGNTY:The pluralist theory of sovereignty was a reaction to monistic or legal theory of sovereignty. To monistic theory stateis supreme association and all other associations are he creationof state and their existence depends on the will of the sovereignpower.The pluralist theory rejects this and tries to establish thatthere is no single source of authority that is all competent andcomprehensive.Laski says that sovereignty is neither absolute nor a unity. It ispluralist, constitutional and responsible. State has no superior claim to an individual’s allegiance. It can justify itself as a public servicecorporation. State exists to coordinate functions of human associationin the best interest.Another exponent of pluralist theory Robert M.Maclverpropounds that state is one of the several human associations, althoughit exercises unique functions. Important feature of the state is supremacyof law.Pluralists believe that state enjoys a privileged position becauseof its wider jurisdiction, which covers all the individuals and associationswithin its boundary. This does not mean that it is superior to otherassociations. It is also true that state has power to punish those whodefy its command but that does not mean that it is absolute. The statemust justify the exercise of its special powers. Pluralist is divided andlimited.The pluralist demand that the same must justify its claim toallegiance on moral grounds. Actually to them the management and control of society must be shared by various associations in proportion to their contribution to the common goods. This theory stands for thedecentralization of authority.The pluralist also rejects the distinction between state andgovernment. They insist on a realistic political science and consider thedistinction between two as artificial.The pluralists are not against the state but would discardsovereign state with its absolute and indivisible power.

The chief tenets of pluralist theory of sovereignty are asfollows.a) Pluralist sovereignty deals with political aspects ofsovereignty.b) State is one of the several human associations cateringto various interests of the individuals.c) State is arbiter over conflicting interests of differentassociations.d) State should compete with other human associationsto claim superior authority.e) State was not absolute or supreme legally.f) State is not the only source of legislation or law.g) Law is very antithesis of command.h) The state is both the child and parent of law.i) The root of obedience of law isn’t coercion but thewill to obey.j) State and government are not different.

The pluralist theory of sovereignty is also not free fromcriticism. Critics maintain that without establishment of aclassless society, sovereignty can neither be divided nor be limited. In order to limit the sovereignty of the state there mustbe a classless society.The demands for freedom from different associationsalso are criticized. Division of sovereignty among differentassociations is not only impossible but also improper. Thepluralist view will lead to political anarchy and social instability.The pluralist limits the sovereignty in order to maintain independence of individuals and other associations, however inorder to maintain the rights of the individuals and associations,the state must have sovereign power. The interest of individuals and associations, will conflict and the state will be helpless if it does not posses sovereign power.Inspite of all these criticism it cannot be denied that the pluralist theory of sovereignty protested the rigid and dogmatic legalism of the Austin’s theory of sovereignty. It supports

humanist and democratic ideas. It challenged the concept ofunlimited sovereignty.This theory also pointed out the importance of otherassociations. Only state is not important but in a society there arealso many other associations, which play important role in itsdevelopment. At last we can say that the greatest contribution ofthis theory is that it gave state a human face, and checked it from beinga threat to the liberty.


In the 19th century the theory of sovereignty as a legal conceptwas perfected by Austin, an English Jurist. He isregarded as a greatest exponent of Monistic Theory. In his book‘Province of Jurisprudence Determined (1832) Austin observed’“if a determinate human superior, not in the habit of obedience to a likesuperior, receives habitual obedience fromthe bulk of a given society, that determinate superior issovereign in that society and that society (including superior) is a society political and independent.” To Austin in every state t here exists an authority to whom a large mass of citizen show compliance. This authority is absolute, unlimited and indivisible.Austin’s theory of sovereignty depends mainly upon hisview on nature of law. According to Austin “Law is acommand given by a superior to inferior” the main tenets ofAustin’s theory of sovereignty are as follows-

Sovereign power is essential in every political society.Sovereignty is a person or body of persons. It is notnecessary that sovereign should be a single person.Sovereignty may reside in many persons also. Austin explains that a “Sovereign is not necessarily a single person, in the modern western world he is rarely so; buthe must have so much of the attributes of a single personas to be a determinate.”To Austin state is a legal order, in which there is a supreme authority, which is source of all powers.Sovereignty is concerned with man, and every state musthave human superior who can issue commands and create laws. Human laws are the proper subjects of stateactivity.Sovereign power is indivisible. Division of sovereignty leads to its destruction. It cannot be divided.The command of sovereignty is superior to over all individuals and associations. Sovereign is not bound toobey anyone’s order. His will is supreme. There is noquestion of right or wrong, just or unjust, all hiscommands are to be obeyed.Austin’s theory says that the obedience to sovereign mustbe habitual. It means that obedience should becontinuous. He also includes that is not necessary thatobedience should come from the whole society. It is sufficient, if it comes from the lay majority of people.Obedience should come from bulk of the societyotherwise there is no sovereign.In brief we can say that sovereignty according to Austin is supreme, indivisible and unquestionable.Like all other theories of sovereignty Austin’s theory is also not free from criticism. The first criticism is regardingsovereignty residing in a determinate superior. Even sovereign’sacts are shaped by so many other influences, such as morals,values and customs of the society.Sir Henry Maine gives the example of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.He pointed out that the Maharaja “could have commanded anything.The smallest disobedience to his command would have been followedby death or mutilation.” In spite of this, the Maharajanever “once in all his life issued a command which Austincould call a law. The rules which regulated the life of hissubjects were derived from their immemorial usage.” Secondly Austin says that the sovereign is possessed of unlimitedpowers, which is again not acceptable. It is possible only in theory notin practice. Laski points out that “no sovereign has anywherepossessed unlimited power and attempt to exert it has always resultedin the establishment of safeguards.”Thirdly Austin says that sovereign is indivisible. All powersMust be centered in the hands of one person or a body of personscalled sovereign. But this has been also disproved byFederal system of governments. It is characteristic of federalstate that power must be divided between the federal governmentand its units.Austin’s theory is criticized further on the grounds of hisdefinition of law. Austin defines law as “command given b a superior toinferior”. This is also not true. No sovereign can ignore the existence ofcustomary law, which has grown throughusage in every country.It seems to be that Austin’s theory maynot be accepted as valid for political philosophy. His legal theoryof sovereign. narrows down “the meaning of vital terms.” Itshould, however be admitted that as an analysis of strictly legalnature of sovereignty. Austin’s theory is clear and logical.

Totalitarianism (or totalitarian rule) is a concept used to describe political systems whereby a state regulates nearly every aspect of public and private life. Totalitarian regimes or movements maintain themselves in political power by means of an official all-embracing ideology and propaganda disseminated through the state-controlled mass media, a single party that controls the state, personality cults, control over the economy, regulation and restriction of free discussion and criticism, the use of mass surveillance, and widespread use of terror tactics. The term has been applied to many states, including: the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, German Democratic Republic (East Germany), Socialist Republic of Romania, People's Socialist Republic of Albania, People's Republic of China, Democratic Kampuchea and Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea).

Socialism- refers to a broad set of economic theories of social organization advocating state or collective ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods, and an egalitarian society characterized by equal opportunities for all individuals and a fair or egalitarian distribution of wealth. Modern socialism originated in the late nineteenth-century working class political movement as well as the intellectual movement that criticized the effects of industrialization on society. Karl Marx posited that socialism would be achieved via class struggle and a proletarian revolution which represents the transitional stage between capitalism and communism. The first socialists predicted a world improved by both technology and better social organization, and many modern socialists share this belief although modern socialists have a bigger emphasis on egalitarianism whereas traditional socialists favored meritocracy. Socialists mainly share the belief that capitalism unfairly concentrates power and wealth among a small segment of society that controls capital, creates an unequal society and does not provide equal opportunities for everyone in society to attain such status. Therefore socialists advocate the creation of an egalitarian society, in which wealth and power are distributed more evenly, although there is considerable disagreement among socialists over how, and to what extent this could be achieved. Socialism is not a discrete philosophy of fixed doctrine and program; its branches advocate a degree of social interventionism and economic rationalization, sometimes opposing each other. Another dividing feature of the socialist movement is the split on how a socialist economy should be established between the reformists and the revolutionaries. Some socialists advocate complete nationalization of the means of production, distribution, and exchange; while others advocate state control of capital within the framework of a market economy. Socialists inspired by the Soviet model of economic development, have advocated the creation of centrally planned economies directed by a state that owns all the means of production. Others, including Yugoslavian, Hungarian, Polish and Chinese Communists in the 1970s and 1980s, instituted various forms of market socialism combining co-operative and State ownership models with the free market exchange.[7] Social democrats propose selective nationalization of key national industries in mixed economies combined with tax-funded welfare programs and the regulation of markets; Libertarian socialism (which includes Social anarchism and Libertarian Marxism) rejects state control and ownership of the economy altogether and advocates direct collective ownership of the means of production via co-operative workers' councils and workplace democracy.


Referendum- (plural referendums or referenda), ballot question, or plebiscite (from Latin plebiscita, originally a decree of the Concilium Plebis) is a direct vote in which an entire electorate is asked to either accept or reject a particular proposal. This may result in the adoption of a new constitution, a constitutional amendment, a law, the recall of an elected official or simply a specific government policy. The referendum or plebiscite is a form of direct democracy ideally favouring the majority.

PLEBISCITE-a vote by the people of an entire country or district to decide on some issue, such as choice of a ruler or government, option for independence or annexation by another power, or a question of national policy.In a plebiscite, voters are asked not to choose between alternate regimes or proposals but to confirm or reject the legitimacy of a certain form of government or course of action. Plebiscites are seen as a way for a government to go directly to the people, bypassing intermediaries such as political parties. After the Revolution of 1789, the plebiscite was popular in France because it was seen as an expression of popular sovereignty. In 1804, a plebiscite made Napoleon emperor.

Plebiscites have been used to establish political boundaries when it is a question of nationality. For example, in 1935, the Saar chose to remain part of Germany rather than become part of France.

Initiative (also known as popular or citizen's initiative) provides a means by which a petition signed by a certain minimum number of registered voters can force a public vote on a proposed statute, constitutional amendment, charter amendment or ordinance, or, in its minimal form, to simply oblige the executive or legislative bodies to consider the subject by submitting it to the order of the day. It is a form of direct democracy. It has also been referred to as "minority initiative," thus relating it to minority influence. The initiative may take the form of either the direct initiative or indirect initiative. Under the direct initiative, a measure is put directly to a vote after being submitted by a petition. Under the indirect initiative, a measure is first referred to the legislature, and then only put to a popular vote if not enacted by the legislature. In United States usage, a popular vote on a specific measure is referred to as a referendum only when originating with the legislature. Such a vote is known, when originating in the initiative process, as an "initiative," "ballot measure" or "proposition."

Recall election is a procedure by which voters can remove an elected official from office. The minimum number of signatures and the time limit to qualify a recall vary between states. In addition, the handling of recalls once they qualify differs. In some states, a recall triggers a simultaneous special election, where the vote on the recall, as well as the vote on the replacement if the recall succeeds, are on the same ballot. In the 2003 California recall election, over 100 candidates appeared on the replacement portion of the ballot. In other states, a separate special election is held after the target is recalled, or a replacement is appointed by the Governor or some other state authority.

Legislature is a type of representative deliberative assembly with the power to create and change laws. The law created by a legislature is called legislation or statutory law. Legislatures are known by many names, the most common being parliament and congress, although these terms also have more specific meanings.The main job of the legislature is to make and amend laws. In parliamentary systems of government, the legislature is formally supreme and appoints the executive. In presidential systems of government, the legislature is considered a power branch which is equal to and independent of the executive.[3] In addition to enacting laws, legislatures usually have exclusive authority to raise taxes and adopt the budget and other money bills.The primary components of a legislature are one or more chambers or houses: assemblies that debate and vote upon bills. A legislature with only one house is called unicameral. A bicameral legislature possesses two separate chambers, usually described as an upper house and a lower house, which often differ in duties, powers, and the methods used for the selection of members. Much rarer have been tricameral legislatures; the most recent existed in the waning years of white-minority rule in South Africa.In most parliamentary systems, the lower house is the more powerful house while the upper house is merely a chamber of advice or review. However, in presidential systems, the powers of the two houses are often similar or equal. In federations it is typical for the upper house to represent the component states; the same applies to the supranational legislature of the European Union. For this purpose the upper house may either contain the delegates of state governments, as is the case in the European Union and in Germany and was the case in the United States before 1913, or be elected according to a formula that grants equal representation to states with smaller populations, as is the case in Australia and the modern United States.

bicameralism (bi + Latin camera, chamber) is the practice of having two legislative or parliamentary chambers. Thus, a bicameral parliament or bicameral legislature is a legislature which consists of two chambers or houses. Bicameralism is an essential and defining feature of the classical notion of mixed government. Bicameral legislatures tend to require a concurrent majority to pass legislation

Unicameralism is the practice of having only one legislative or parliamentary chamber. Many countries with unicameral legislatures are often small and homogeneous unitary states and consider an upper house or second chamber unnecessary.

Parliamentary systems are characterized by no clear-cut separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches, leading to a different set of checks and balances compared to those found in presidential systems. Parliamentary systems usually have a clear differentiation between the head of government and the head of state, with the head of government being the prime minister or premier, and the head of state often being a figurehead, often either a president (elected either popularly or by the parliament) or by a hereditary monarch (often in a constitutional monarchy).The term parliamentary system does not mean that a country is ruled by different parties in coalition with each other. Such multi-party arrangements are usually the product of an electoral system known as proportional representation. Many parliamentary countries, especially those that use "first past the post" voting, have governments composed of one party. However, parliamentary systems in continental Europe do use proportional representation, and tend to produce election results in which no single party has a majority of seats. Proportional representation in a non-parliamentary system does not have this result.

Advantages of a parliamentary system

Some believe that it is easier to pass legislation within a parliamentary system. This is because the executive branch is dependent upon the direct or indirect support of the legislative branch and often includes members of the legislature. Thus, this would amount to the executive (as the majority party or coalition of parties in the legislature) possessing more votes in order to pass legislation. In a presidential system, the executive is often chosen independently from the legislature. If the executive and legislature in such a system include members entirely or predominantly from different political parties, then stalemate can occur. Former US President Bill Clinton often faced problems in this regard, since the Republicans controlled Congress for much of his tenure. Accordingly, the executive within a presidential system might not be able to properly implement his or her platform/manifesto. Evidently, an executive in any system (be it parliamentary, presidential or semi-presidential) is chiefly voted into office on the basis of his or her party's platform/manifesto. It could be said then that the will of the people is more easily instituted within a parliamentary system.In addition to quicker legislative action, Parliamentarianism has attractive features for nations that are ethnically, racially, or ideologically divided. In a unipersonal presidential system, all executive power is concentrated in the president. In a parliamentary system, with a collegial executive, power is more divided. In the 1989 Lebanese Taif Agreement, in order to give Muslims greater political power, Lebanon moved from a semi-presidential system with a strong president to a system more structurally similar to a classical parliamentarianism. Iraq similarly disdained a presidential system out of fears that such a system would be equivalent to Shiite domination; Afghanistan's minorities refused to go along with a presidency as strong as the Pashtuns desired.It can also be argued that power is more evenly spread out in the power structure of parliamentarianism. The premier seldom tends to have as high importance as a ruling president, and there tends to be a higher focus on voting for a party and its political ideas than voting for an actual person.In The English Constitution, Walter Bagehot praised parliamentarianism for producing serious debates, for allowing the change in power without an election, and for allowing elections at any time. Bagehot considered the four-year election rule of the United States to be unnatural.There is also a body of scholarship, associated with Juan Linz, Fred Riggs, Bruce Ackerman, and Robert Dahl that claims that parliamentarianism is less prone to authoritarian collapse. These scholars point out that since World War II, two-thirds of Third World countries establishing parliamentary governments successfully made the transition to democracy. By contrast, no Third World presidential system successfully made the transition to democracy without experiencing coups and other constitutional breakdowns. As Bruce Ackerman says of the 30 countries to have experimented with American checks and balances, "All of them, without exception, have succumbed to the nightmare [of breakdown] one time or another, often repeatedly." A recent World Bank study found that parliamentary systems are associated with lower corruption.

Criticisms of parliamentarianism

One main criticism of many parliamentary systems is that the head of government is in almost all cases not directly elected. In a presidential system, the president is usually chosen directly by the electorate, or by a set of electors directly chosen by the people, separate from the legislature. However, in a parliamentary system the prime minister is elected by the legislature, often under the strong influence of the party leadership. Thus, a party's candidate for the head of government is usually known before the election, possibly making the election as much about the person as the party behind him or her.Another major criticism of the parliamentary system lies precisely in its purported advantage: that there is no truly independent body to oppose and veto legislation passed by the parliament, and therefore no substantial check on legislative power. Conversely, because of the lack of inherent separation of powers, some believe that a parliamentary system can place too much power in the executive entity, leading to the feeling that the legislature or judiciary have little scope to administer checks or balances on the executive. However, most parliamentary systems are bicameral, with an upper house designed to check the power of the lower (from which the executive comes).Although it is possible to have a powerful prime minister, as Britain has, or even a dominant party system, as Japan has, parliamentary systems are also sometimes unstable. Critics point to Israel, Italy, Canada, the French Fourth Republic, and Weimar Germany as examples of parliamentary systems where unstable coalitions, demanding minority parties, votes of no confidence, and threats of such votes, make or have made effective governance impossible. Defenders of parliamentarianism say that parliamentary instability is the result of proportional representation, political culture, and highly polarised electorates.Former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi criticized the parliamentary system of Iraq, saying that because of party-based voting "the vast majority of the electorate based their choices on sectarian and ethnic affiliations, not on genuine political platforms." Although Walter Bagehot praised parliamentarianism for allowing an election to take place at any time, the lack of a definite election calendar can be abused. In some systems, such as the British, a ruling party can schedule elections when it feels that it is likely to do well, and so avoid elections at times of unpopularity. Thus, by wise timing of elections, in a parliamentary system a party can extend its rule for longer than is feasible in a functioning presidential system. This problem can be alleviated somewhat by setting fixed dates for parliamentary elections, as is the case in several of Australia's state parliaments. In other systems, such as the Dutch and the Belgian, the ruling party or coalition has some flexibility in determining the election date.Alexander Hamilton argued for elections at set intervals as a means of insulating the government from the transient passions of the people, and thereby giving reason the advantage over passion in the accountability of the government to the people. Critics of parliamentary systems point out that people with significant popular support in the community are prevented from becoming prime minister if they cannot get elected to parliament since there is no option to "run for prime minister" like one can run for president under a presidential system. Additionally, prime ministers may lose their positions solely because they lose their seats in parliament, even though they may still be popular nationally. Supporters of parliamentarianism can respond by saying that as members of parliament, prime ministers are elected firstly to represent their electoral constituents and if they lose their support then consequently they are no longer entitled to be prime minister. In parliamentary systems, the role of the statesman who represents the country as a whole goes to the separate position of head of state, which is generally non-executive and non-partisan. Promising politicians in parliamentary systems likewise are normally preselected for safe seats - ones that are unlikely to be lost at the next election - which allows them to focus instead on their political career.

EXECUTIVE- In political science and constitutional law, the executive branch is the branch of government responsible for day-to-day management. In many countries, it is referred to simply as the government, but this usage can be confusing in an international context. The executive branch contains the head of government, who is the head of this branch. Under the doctrine of the separation of powers, the executive is not supposed to make laws (role of the legislature), nor to interpret them (role of the judiciary); rather, their purpose is to enforce them. In practice however, this separation is rarely absolute. The executive is identified by the Head of Government. In a presidential system, this person (the President) may also be the Head of State, whereas in a parliamentary system he or she is usually the leader of the largest party in the legislature and is most commonly termed the Prime Minister (Taoiseach in the Republic of Ireland, [Federal] Chancellor in Germany and Austria). In France, executive power is shared between the President and the Prime Minister and this system has been reproduced in a number of former French colonies, while Switzerland and Bosnia and Herzegovina likewise have collegiate systems for the role of Head of State and Government. The Head of Government is assisted by a number of ministers, who usually have responsibilities for particular areas (e.g. health, education, foreign affairs), and by a large number of government employees or civil servants.

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