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By Timothy D. Sisk
If parties in intractable conflicts -- particularly in societies divided by deep ethnic, racial or religious differences -- find that they are unable to escalate their way out of conflict, but seek a compromise that assures them a permanent place at the bargaining table, they may turn to power sharing as a potential solution. Power sharing is a term used to describe a system of governance in which all major segments of society are provided a permanent share of power; this system is often contrasted with government vs. opposition systems in which ruling coalitions rotate among various social groups over time.
These are the basic principles of power sharing as traditionally conceived:
- grand coalition governments in which nearly all political parties have appointments;
- protection of minority rights for groups;
- decentralization of power;
- decision making by consensus.
Today, there is a more expanded definition of power sharing, such that a wide range of options exist for engendering consensus and compromise in deeply divided societies. One of the most important tasks for practitioners in intractable conflict is pairing thoughtful assessments about the causes and dynamics of a conflict with the wide range of power-sharing options that could potentially ameliorate tensions through consensus-oriented governance.
Ostensibly, power-sharing solutions are designed to marry principles of democracy with the need for conflict management in deeply divided societies. Power sharing involves a wide array of political arrangements -- usually embodied in constitutional terms -- in which the principal elements of society are guaranteed a place, and influence, in governance. From South Africa to Sri Lanka, from Bosnia to Burundi, from Cambodia to Congo, it is difficult to envisage a post-war political settlement that does not, or would not need to, include guarantees to all the major antagonists that they will be assured some permanent political representation, decision-making power, and often-autonomous territory in the post-war peace.
In many situations, the international community works proactively to encourage parties to adopt power sharing instead of waging war. In Afghanistan, for example, following the fall of the Taliban, international mediators worked hard at the Bonn negotiations in December 2001 to ensure that the transitional government under interim (now permanent) leader Hamid Karzai was broadly representative of the major ethnic groups in this highly diverse and long-conflicted country. In Ivory Coast, French mediators have brokered a pact in early 2003 to end that country's civil war; rebel commanders eventually took up appointments in a revamped cabinet.
However, power sharing is no panacea. Indeed, some types of power-sharing systems may contain the seeds of their own self-destruction as the search for consensus turns into deadlock by political leaders aware that they hold the power of veto over government action. Moreover, some elements of status-quo power will violently reject sharing power, as did elements of the Rwandan paramilitary groups in 1994 in opposition to the Arusha Accord of the previous year, leading to the worst genocide since World War II.
This essay assesses recent experience with power sharing as a means of living together in intractable conflict settings. It offers a classification of power-sharing models, and it includes examples of various approaches in practice. The conclusion for practitioners is to recognize that power sharing may be desirable, and necessary, as an immediate exit to deadly conflicts, especially those fought in the name of ethnic identity . In the long run, however, rigid power sharing is not a durable solution to intractable conflicts. Ideally, power sharing should wither away over time, as trust builds and the uncertainty of more "normal" majority rule democracy becomes acceptable. At the same time, practitioners should think innovatively about options that can allow such an evolution from formal sharing of power -- often by exclusive ethnic groups -- to a more socially inclusive and integrated form of representation.
Types and Elements of Power Sharing
A long-standing misconception about power-sharing options for intractable conflicts is that there is a single formula for sharing power, which for many years has been called "consociationalism." The elements of this approach to power sharing are well known: grand coalitions, proportional representation, cultural autonomy or federalism, and the mutual veto. Yet this prototype of power sharing is but one of what is in fact a very broad range of political options for settling ethnic conflicts, the gist of which can be exceptionally different in terms of aims, structures, and effects on promoting inter-group moderation and compromise. What are the principal options for sharing power?
- Autonomy . For many conflicts today, such as Azerbaijan (Karabagh), Sudan, or Sri Lanka, autonomy is often seen as a reasonable way to balance the claims of states for territorial integrity and the claims of rebel forces for secession.  Autonomy, as eminent scholar Yash Ghai suggests, is not a term on which there is a consensus definition. Nonetheless, his best effort at one is useful: "Autonomy is a device to allow an ethnic group or other groups claiming a distinct identity to exercise direct control over important affairs of concern to them while allowing the larger entity to exercise those powers which are the common interests of both sections." Among the forms of autonomy is symmetrical federalism, in which all units enjoy similar powers, and asymmetrical federalism that might provide enhanced powers to a particular region.
- Power Sharing: Group Building-Block Approach. Another possible option is a looser form of autonomy, not always explicitly territorial, termed consociationalism. The option is in essence a group building-block approach that relies on accommodation by ethnic-group leaders at the political center and guarantees for group autonomy and minority rights; in essence, this approach is "consociational" in that it encourages collaborative decision-making by parties in conflict. The key institutions are federalism and the devolution of power to ethnic groups in territory that they control; minority vetoes on issues of particular importance to them; grand coalition cabinets in a parliamentary framework, and proportionality in all spheres of public life (e.g., budgeting and civil service appointments). Bosnia's 1995 Dayton Accord is a good example of this approach in practice.
Consociational Power Sharing
- Power Sharing: Integrative Approach . By contrast, the integrative approach eschews ethnic groups as the building blocks of a common society. As a distinct set of options for power sharing, this approach rejects cohesive ethnic or other groups (such as "confessional" or religious factions in Lebanon) as the building blocks of society. This approach features options that purposefully seek to integrate society along the lines of division. This approach can be called "centripetalism," because it tries to engineer a center-oriented spin to political dynamics.
The integrative approach seeks to build multiethnic political coalitions (again, usually political parties), to create incentives for political leaders to be moderate on divisive ethnic themes, and to enhance minority influence in majority decision-making. The elements of an integrative approach include electoral systems that encourage pre-election pacts across ethnic lines, non-ethnic federalism that diffuses points of power, and public policies that promote political allegiances that transcend groups. Some suggest that integrative power sharing is superior in theory, in that it seeks to foster ethnic accommodation by promoting crosscutting interests. Others, however, argue that the use of incentives to promote conciliation will run aground when faced with deep-seated enmities that underlie ethnic disputes and that are hardened during the course of a brutal civil war. Table 2 summarizes this option and its related practices and problems.
Although this typology presents two conceptually distinct approaches, it is clear power-sharing options can be pieced together in a number of ways. In deciding which power-sharing institutions and practices might work, there is no substitute for intimate knowledge of any given country. In multiethnic Fiji, for example, a four-year expert review of the country's political system produced a set of recommendations for a recently adopted constitution that combines measures to guarantee a minimum level of traditional Fijian (as opposed to Indo-Fijian) representation in parliament (a group building-block option) with measures to promote the formation of political alliances across group lines (an integrative option). The Fiji experience points to how a well-conceived process, featuring a balanced panel of experts with firm political support, can arrive at creative solutions specifically tailored to a unique set of problems. The Fiji case is instructive precisely because the efforts of spoilers to disrupt integration along ethnic lines were only temporarily successful; as Fiji recovers from the attempted coup d'etat of 2000, it has returned to an integrationist formula for resolving its ethnic tensions.
Matching Problems to Solutions
A key feature of consociational power-sharing is the mutual veto, whereby decisions are only made with the widest possible consent and only with a near consensus. However, this often leads to the use of "political blackmail." Unable to get consensus, governance stagnates and policy-making drifts; the result is a "cold peace," in which the parties refrain from violence but have not embarked on a serious process of reconciliation , either. In many ways, this is the sad story of post-war Bosnia , which has muddled through elections and a period of peace without much progress in effective consensus-oriented government. The inability to make or implement policy due to protracted disagreement can lead to frustration and eventually defection from a peace accord. War can erupt anew. Historically, the outbreak of civil wars in Angola, Cyprus, Lebanon, Sierra Leone, and Sudan have all been the result of broken power-sharing agreements that led to renewed violence.
Power-sharing solutions make for good transitional devices, but in the long run the best outcome may well be a much more fluid form of democracy that allows for the creation of flexible coalitions that bridge the ethnic divide. A central question that has yet to be fully explored is the terms under which power-sharing, consensus-oriented forms of democracy can evolve into more flexible institutions that can foster reconciliation and a broader national identity. If sustainable peace comes through " conflict transformation ," as argued by John Paul Lederach (1997), power sharing is often too rigid a system to allow for the social and political changes necessary for addressing the underlying causes of conflict that give rise to war.
How can the rigid structures of political power-sharing wither over time to the point where the guarantees for group security they contain are no longer necessary? This is not a purely academic question. In Bosnia, for example, the ability of NATO's international peacekeepers to end their occupation is premised on the ability of the power-sharing institutions forged in the 1995 Dayton Agreement -- now dominated by nationalists -- to melt into more moderate and ethnically mixed political institutions.
If power sharing is at best a transitional device, this conclusion begs the question of what types of political institutions can be expected to allow democratic decision-making to prosper in post-war environments in which politics remain deeply divided. There is no way to say prima facie which type of power-sharing system -- consociational or integrative -- is inherently best.
In matching options to solutions, much depends on the level of enmity between the contending groups, the trajectory of the war (e.g., the extent of ethnic separation that occurred) and whether or not in their negotiations they can accept any degree of uncertainty or vulnerability to political loss. Critical to analysis of the problems is a coherent assessment of the role that ethnicity plays in the turn to violence and the prominence of identity as a cause of conflict. At some point, it becomes impossible to live together in broad, tolerant, multiethnic coalitions; in such cases, perhaps consociational democracy is the best alternative to violence. When consociationalism can not work, autonomy might be a solution. When even autonomy is not possible, the time may be ripe to consider complete separation (or, in the jargon of the field, partition).
Intractable conflicts are characterized in part by the inability of the parties in them to completely prevail by escalation . When they reach a stalemate and are highly motivated to de-escalate, conflict-resolution practitioners may be in a position to help the parties arrive at a workable solution for power sharing. While there may be understandable pressures for power sharing, there are immediate risks to such an arrangement from spoilers (as in Rwanda) and longer-run risks from the design of political institutions (as in Bosnia).
To reconcile immediate imperatives with the sustainability of peace over time, power sharing will work best when it can, over time, wither away. Whether in South Africa, Northern Ireland, Bosnia, or Lebanon, in the immediate term, formal power sharing has been an effective confidence-building device to ensure that all groups with the capacity to spoil a peace settlement should be included in the institutions and given influence in decision-making. Over time, however, postwar societies need to move beyond the mutual hostage taking that a guaranteed place at the decision-making table implies, the deadlock it inevitably creates, and the construction of postwar societies around the fixed and unyielding social boundaries of ethnicity.
Integrative power-sharing solutions have an inherent advantage, if they can be achieved. When successful, they engineer a moderation-seeking, centripetal spin to the political system, one that allows for ethnicity but promotes fluid coalitions that transcend the cleavages of conflict in war-torn societies. A practical way to begin is to purposefully manipulate the electoral system to provide new incentives to moderate and coalesce across group lines, as suggested above. Electoral systems should be designed to give politicians real incentives to motivate, moving beyond a perhaps natural instinct to play the communal card to attain power. There is emerging evidence that such clever design can promote moderation in intractable conflicts, as examples from Northern Ireland, Fiji, and Papua New Guinea attest.
The clever design of power-sharing institutions, no matter how careful, can not resolve some of the inherent problems that lead to discord and the inability to reach consensus in today's deeply divided societies. If thoughtful analysis and clever design were sufficient, it is likely that the Cyprus dispute -- which resists settlement even though United Nations mediators have labored for years extensively over every detail of a mutually acceptable power-sharing solution -- would have been resolved decades ago. Regrettably, recent efforts by the international community to negotiate acceptance of the United Nations power-sharing plan apparently failed again in early 2003. Nevertheless, if and when the Cypriots and others in similar situations are ready to settle, they will find themselves facing basic choices about sharing power and how best to do so. As a means for exiting intractable social conflicts, there seems to be no alternative.
 For the seminal articulation of this approach, see Lijphart, Arend. Democracy in Plural Societies: A Comparative Exploration ( New Haven: Yale University Press: 1977).
 For a more thorough overview of power-sharing options, see Timothy Sisk, Power Sharing and International Mediation in Ethnic Conflicts (1995), and Peter Harris and Ben Reilly, Eds. Democracy and Deep-Rooted Conflict: Options for Negotiators (1998).
 See also Ruth Lapidoth, Autonomy: Flexible Solutions to Ethnic Conflicts (1997) and Hurst Hannum, Autonomy, Sovereignty, and Self-Determination: The Accommodation of Conflicting Rights (1990).
 Autonomy and Ethnicity: Negotiating Competing Claims in Multi-Ethhic States. Cambridge University Press (2000).
 For a recent assessment of consociational power-sharing in Europe, see Ulrich Schneckener, "Making Power Sharing Work: Lessons from Successes and Failures in Ethnic Conflict Regulation," Institut fur Interkultrelle und Internationale Studien , University of Bremen (Working Paper Nr. 19/2000).
 For the classic articulation of this approach, see Donald Horowitz, Ethnic Groups in Conflict (Los Angeles and Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985).
 See the report of the Constitutional Review Commission, The Fiji Islands: Toward a United Future , Suva, 1996.
 For an excellent summary of underlying causes of ethnic conflicts, see Brown (1996).
 For example of the practical policy challenges, see "Turning Strife to Advantage: A Blueprint to Integrate the Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina" an International Crisis Group Report (March 15, 2001), available at www.intl-crisis-group.org .
 Ben Reilly, Democracy in Divided Societies: Electoral Engineering for Conflict Management (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001).
 See "Cyprus peace talks end in failure," on www.CNN.com , http://edition.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/europe/03/10/cyprus.meet.reut/
Use the following to cite this article: Sisk, Timothy D.. "Power Sharing." Beyond Intractability . Eds. Guy Burgess and Heidi Burgess. Conflict Information Consortium, University of Colorado, Boulder. Posted: September 2003 < http://www.beyondintractability.org/essay/power-sharing >.
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Power-sharing – Worksheet
Power-sharing is a part of political science, Class 10, CBSE. In this blog post, you will find the solved worksheet with answers, you can also download the worksheet PDF at the end of this post.
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Also, start making notes and revise them over and over again!
What is power-sharing?
Power-sharing means sharing power among different organs or levels of the government. For example, horizontal power-sharing, vertical power-sharing.
Belgium shares its border with___
France, Germany, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands.
The ethnic composition of the capital city of Brussels is____
French 80% and Dutch 20%
Who elects the community government in Belgium?
People belonging to 1 language community only.
What does the word ethnic signify?
Social division on shared culture.
Government for the entire country is usually called_____
What is majoritarianism?
A belief that the majority community should be able to rule the country in whichever way they want by disregarding or not considering the wishes and needs of the minority group.
Match the following
Which are the two major social groups of Sri Lanka?
The Sinhala speakers and the Tamil speakers.
______ language is spoken by the majority in Sri Lanka
What is the official religion of sri lanka, correct the incorrect statement: sri lanka is a continent situated few kilometers off the southern coast of tamil nadu of india.
Sri Lanka is an island nation situated few kilometers off the southern coast of Tamil Nadu of India.
What are the similarities between Sri Lanka and Belgium?
Both are democracies.
What is meant by Tamil Eelam?
An independent state for Tamils.
Two sub-groups of Tamils are ___ and __
Sri Lankan Tamils and Indian Tamils.
Why was the constitution of Belgium amended four times?
The constitution of Belgium was amended 4 times so as to work out an arrangement that would enable everyone to live together within the same country.
In which city is the headquarters of the European Union located?
Which are the 2 sets of power-sharing.
Prudential and Moral.
What is a legitimate government?
A legitimate government is one where citizens through participation acquire a stake in the system.
What is the prudential reason behind power-sharing?
The prudential reason stresses that power-sharing will bring out better outcomes.
Name the three organs of the government.
Legislative, Executive, and Judiciary.
What is a good democracy?
Gives due respect to all the diverse groups.
What are the pressure groups?
It is an organization that attempts to influence government policies through protests and demonstrations.
What is a vertical division of power?
Vertical division of power doesn’t allow the different organs of government to be placed at the same level to exercise different powers.
What does the system of checks and balances ensure in power-sharing?
The system of check and balance ensures in power-sharing that none of the organs can exercise unlimited powers. Each organ checks the other.
Sinhala-speaking people follow Christianity. (True/ False)
Assertion (a): the relations between sinhala and tamil had become hostile and conflicting., reason (r): the tamils felt that the government of sri lanka followed discriminatory policies towards them..
Both Assertion and Reason are true, but the reason is not the correct explanation of A.
Which of the following option best signifies the cartoon?
The concentration of power and threat to democracy.
You can download full questions for practice:
“Questions Credit: Ms. Mandeep Kaur – HOD Social Studies, Shishu Niketan Public School, Mohali.”
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- Political Science /
Power Sharing Class 10 Notes
- Updated on
- May 9, 2023
In NCERT Class 9 Civics, the features of democracy elucidate that a democratic government does not rely all its power on just one aspect but the design of a democratic government is meticulously planned to facilitate power-sharing. This way, the role of the legislature, judiciary, and executive powers are prominent for the same objective. Moving to the first chapter of Class 10 Social Science – Civics, you will get to know about power-sharing and how it is carried out for the smooth functioning of a democracy. Through this blog, we have summarized this chapter and prepared Power Sharing class 10 notes to assist you in comprehending the major concepts under this topic.
This Blog Includes:
What is power sharing, accommodation in belgium, majoritarianism in sri lanka, importance of power sharing , power sharing in different organs of the government, power sharing among governments at different levels, power sharing among social groups, power sharing among influential groups, ppt on power sharing, questions & answers on power sharing.
Click Here to Download the Power Sharing Class 10 NCERT PDF
Democratic states are based on the principle of power-sharing, and to govern the states efficiently, and without tussles, the policy of power-sharing is necessary. While studying the Power Sharing Class 10 notes, you must also know that state power should be divided among all administrative machinery stakeholders such as Legislature, the Executive, and the judiciary. To help students understand this through a real example, the chapter on Power Sharing in Class 10th civics begins with the story of Belgium and Sri Lanka, the two nations that faced issues regarding power-sharing and how they dealt with it.
The Story of Belgium
You must have heard about the beautiful country of Belgium which is located in Europe and shares its borders with the Netherlands, France, and Germany. The Class 10 Chapter on Power Sharing notes that Belgium has a diverse ethnic population with 59% Dutch-speaking people living in the Flemish region, 40% French-speaking people living in the Wallonia region, and the remaining 1% man-speaking people living in the Belgian region. The capital of Belgium, Brussels, is home to 80% French-speaking people who are much better than the rest 20% Dutch-speaking in terms of Socio-Economic development. The disparity led to clashes between the two ethnic groups in the 1950s and 1960s. The Dutch people were a minority in the capital but a majority in the country. They could have easily dominated the French and German-speaking people in the nation, which could have led to further disputes and a possible partition.
The Belgium story differs from Srilanka majoritarianism because of the use of the formerly recognized diversity of language and culture in their country. The Belgian government sought to accommodate this diversity by amending the constitution to ensure equality of rights and opportunities in the country. From 1970 to 1993, the Belgian constitution was amended four times to recognize equal representation in the government such as the Dutch and French-speaking ministers must be equal in the central government. The constitution empowered the state government and decentralized power to protect the interests of the minority community. The country has three governments- central, state, and community government to protect the diverse interests of the Belgian people.
This example of Power Sharing in Class 10 highlights the conduct of the Belgium government that took the stance of acknowledging the differences between the ethnic communities and dividing political power and rights among ethnic groups.
The Story of Sri Lanka
Another country that has been referred to in the Power Sharing class 10 notes in Sri Lanka. Just like Belgium, Sri Lanka has a history of ethical issues. When Sri Lanka achieved its independence, the government adopted a Sinhala majoritarian policy, ignoring the Tamil minority.
- The Sri Lankan government passed an act in 1956, making Sinhala the country’s official language, hurting the sentiments of the Tamil citizens who also faced discrimination in Universities and government jobs.
- The Sri Lankan government provided special protection to Buddhism, which was the religion of the majority. The government’s discriminative policies led to the development of bitter relations between the Sinhalese and the Tamils.
- The Tamils launched different movements and engaged in a political struggle for their rights only to be led down in the end. This made the Tamils demand a separate Tamil state within the national Sri Lankan territory which eventually led to a civil war. Thus, as a result, the civil war cost Sri Lanka its economic development.
Thus, the chapter on Power Sharing in Class 10 explains the difference in the approach of the Belgium and Srilankan government in handling ethnic issues. It also notes that while the Belgians opted for the sharing of power through democratic means, Sri Lanka didn’t give up on majoritarianism.
Sri Lanka gained independence in the year 1948. After the post-independence era saw a shift in the political power dynamics. The political leaders from the Sinhala community sought to establish a government. The Sinhala political leaders adopted majoritarian policies to secure their supremacy in the political sphere and thereby marginalizing the Tamil community in Sri Lanka. The government passed an Act in 1956, which declared Sinhala as the only official language of the country. They adopted a constitution that protected and declared Buddhism as the national religion and adopted preferential policies to favour the majority in government positions and universities. These majoritarian policies isolated and alienated the Tamil community. The community was denied equal rights and opportunities which led to massive dissatisfaction. The Srilankan Tamilians formed their parties to demand regional autonomy and by the 1990s, the demands turned towards complete independence and the formation of the Tamil Eelam in the northern and eastern parts of the country.
The importance of Power Sharing is also elaborated upon in this second chapter of Class 10 Social Science . It essentially notes that giving space to everyone in a multi-ethnic or cultural society is necessary. Each community has its way of living and deserves the necessary respect in the public space. The two major issues that can arise without intelligent power-sharing are:
- Conflict Among Social groups
- Political Instability
You will learn in Class 10th civics that power-sharing is the essence of democracy as it keeps mistrust and tyranny at bay. The morality behind power-sharing is simple and is based on basic human values. From an administrative point of view, power-sharing is important because it will promote participation and bring out the best outcomes in every sector.
Forms of Power Sharing
Moving to the next section, you must also go through the forms of Power Sharing while studying our Class 10 notes. The origin of power-sharing came in opposition to undivided power and it is evident that throughout history, power was considered something meant for only a few. With the advent of modern democratic states, the historical character of power changed. But the question that arises is: what is power-sharing in a modern democratic state?
Any modern democracy will strive to create a perfect balance of power by acknowledging the importance of all the stakeholders. In the chapter on Power Sharing in Class 10, you will learn about the important forms of power-sharing in democratic states which are as follows:
The legislature, executive, and judiciary are some of the important stakeholders in national governance. Each one of them has an important role to play in national political affairs and is subjected to the horizontal distribution of power. As per the chapter notes on Power Sharing in Class 10, such a separation of power is necessary so that none of these stakeholders enjoys unlimited power and balances out each other. This kind of arrangement is also known as the system of checks and balances.
What is power-sharing among different levels of government? It is the essence of a federal structure where a central government is looking upon the national affairs and provincial or state governments look after their respective states’ affairs. Going through our study notes on Power Sharing in Class 10, you must understand the concept of the federal structure of power which is necessary for facilitating power-sharing amongst different levels in a government. In India, for example, there are further divisions of power taking in panchayats and municipalities.
Another form of Power Sharing you must note while studying this chapter is the distribution of power among social groups and communities. Social groups are also considered essential players in national governance, the most important being linguistic and religious groups. This chapter includes a unique example of how, in some countries, there is a special representation for socially weaker sections and women in the legislatures and administration. The reservation system is also a great example of such an arrangement. Protection of the rights of minorities and their representation in the national government through direct or indirect participation is an important case study elaborated in Class 10th civics .
Political parties, Businessmen, industrialists, farmers, and industrial workers are also powerful social groups that can affect a nation’s governance. They must be given their due share in the national polity as they can influence the policy-making of a government quite well.
Now that you are familiar with the key aspects of Power Sharing and how it is carried out amongst diverse groups and sections, we have also listed some of the major exam questions you must practice after studying the Power Sharing Class 10 notes:
The Srilankan government recognized Sinhala as the only official language in 1956 with a constitutions act.
The third type of government in Belgium is the Community government which represents language interests in the country.
Majoritarianism is ruled by the majority community in a country. Eg. Srilanka under the Sinhala majority government was considered majoritarianism as it marginalized the minority community’s political interests, culture, and language.
The people of the Wallonia region in Belgium speak French and have equal representation in the central government within a decentralized power-sharing system.
- Describe some of the major forms of power-sharing in modern democracies with suitable examples.
- Give an example of power-sharing in the Indian context. Elaborate on your example with suitable reasons.
- Does power-sharing play an important role in democracy? Elaborate.
- What role does power-sharing have in minimising the possibility of conflicts amongst social groups?
Ans. Political Science (Civics) is the subject of power-sharing in Class 10.
Ans. The 4 types of power-sharing are pressure groups, power-sharing agreements, movements control, and political parties.
Ans. When political, military, and economic power is distributed equally amongst different groups in situations of conflict, it is called power sharing.
Hence, we hope that you found the Power Sharing Class 10 notes and summary insightful. Need expert guidance in choosing the best stream after the 10th? Our Leverage Edu counselors are just a click away from guiding you in this crucial decision of your academic journey to ensure that you take an informed decision toward a bright future! Sign up for a free session with us today!
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Power Sharing Class 10 Notes Political Science (Civics) Chapter 1
What are Power Sharing?
Power sharing helps in bringing political stability in a country by minimising the probability of conflict among its social groups. Power sharing is one of the essential aspects of democracy, which involves the participation of citizens in the process of decision making.
Proper sharing of power among the different organs of government, namely legislature, executive and judiciary enables a country to hasten the path of growth and development.
Horizontal distribution of power involves sharing of power by different organs of government, such as legislature, executive and judiciary. In such form of power sharing, different organs of government have different powers. This avoids unnecessary clashes among their powers and brings about a balance in the system.
Vertical distribution of power involves sharing of power at different levels of government, that is Central, State and Local governments. In this form of power sharing, Central government delegates its power to the State government, which further delegates its power to local and smaller government bodies. Power is also shared among social groups like religious groups and linguistic groups.
Power sharing in belgium
Belgium is a small European country. Out of the composite population of Belgium, 59% of Belgian people speak Dutch, 40% speak French and rest 1% speak German. Whereas in Brussels, the capital city of Belgian, 80% of the people speak French while 20% speak Dutch.
In Belgium, the French speaking community was in minority but they were economically and educationally more stable as compared to the majority community, that is, the Dutch speaking community.
According to the Belgian model, Central government of the country has ministers from both majority and minority communities of the country. Central government has delegated a number of its powers equally to the state governments of the regions where Dutch speaking and French speaking communities reside. Brussels has a separate government wherein French speaking community and Dutch speaking community both have equal participation.
Apart from the Central and the State Government, there is a third kind of government known as the ‘community government.’ A ‘community government’ is chosen by those people who belong to a particular language community. This type of government solves issues related to the culture, education and language. This government prevents civil war among different linguistic communities.
Power sharing in sri lanka
Sri Lanka got independence in 1948. Out of the total population, 74% of the people speak Sinhala and 18% speak Tamil (in which 13% are Sri Lankan Tamils and 5% are Indian Tamils). Sinhala-speaking people are primarily Buddhists, while Tamils are either Hindus or Muslims. Only 7% of Sri Lanka’s population is Christian, who speaks both Tamil and Sinhala.
In Sri Lanka, majoritarianism was practised. Majoritarianism is a political philosophy, wherein the majority community has the right to govern the country in the way it wants. As a result, Sinhala was established as the official language of Sri Lanka in 1956. The government policies favoured Sinhala people and they got government jobs and good educational institutes. A new constitution was established for the protection and growth of Buddhism. Such activities alienated Sri Lankan Tamils.
Sri Lankan Tamils formed parties and started struggles for establishing Tamil as an official language. They demanded equal education and employment opportunities. But Sinhala government denied this.
By 1980s, various political organisations were established in Sri Lanka and they started demanding an independent Tamil Eelam (state) in the northern and eastern parts of the country. Such differences between the two communities led Sri Lanka into the state of a civil war.
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Power Sharing ( Easily understandable notes for class 10th)
Introduction:, story of belgium:, majoritarianism in sri lanka, accommodation in belgium, why power sharing is desirable, forms of power-sharing.
Last year, we came to know about institutional designs . These designs tell us that power does not rest with any one organ of the government in a democratic government. We divide power and strengthen the system. So this year, we will go deeper and understand desirability of power sharing. Also, the various forms of power sharing. let’s commence through two examples; Belgium and Sri Lanka.
- Belgium is a small country in Europe.
- Area wise, it is smaller than Haryana (State).
- It has borders with France, the Netherlands, Germany and Luxembourg.
- Three languages ; Dutch, French and German.
- Three regions ; Flemish (59% Dutch speaking), Wallonia (40% French speaking) and Brussels.
- However, in Brussels (Capital Region): 20% Dutch speaking and 80% French speaking.
- There are 1% German speaking also.
But What was the problem in it?
- Minority was rich and powerful in the country whereas majority benefited much later.
- Although, this problem was more acute in the capital city Brussels.
- Thus, this complexity posed the problem between French and Dutch speaking communities.
Story of Sri Lanka:
- Sri Lanka is an Island Nation (India’s neighbor).
- Its population is about two crore (same as in Haryana).
- Moreover, There are two sub groups of Tamils: Sri Lankan Tamils(13%) and Indian Tamils (5%).
- other social groups: Christians (7%) and Rest (1%) .
- Religion: Buddhists (majority), Hindus, Muslims and Christians.
- Tensions took place due to discriminatory policies of Sri Lankan Government.
- In 1948, after attaining Independence, Sinhala community took advantage of its majority.
- Since, It adopted a series of Majoritarian measures .
- Recognition of Sinhala as the only official language in 1956.
- Preferential policies for Sinhala applicants (Govt. jobs & University position).
- Moreover, duty of State to protect and foster Buddhism.
- Demanded for recognition of Tamil as an official language,
- for regional autonomy and equality of opportunity in education and jobs.
- However, Sinhala government refused to do so.
- As a consequence, Demand for Tamil Eelam (State) arose. (1980s)
- Thus, the above mentioned changes paved way to a Civil War.
- In Belgium, Leaders took care of every linguistic group. Thus, adopted Belgian Model.
- To make workable arrangements, they had to amend their constitution four times (Between 1970 and 1993).
- Although, Belgian measure is different and very innovative.
- Central Government: Equal representation of the ministers of both linguistic groups. And provision of Bilateral agreement.
- State Government: State governments are not subordinate to Central government.
- Separate Government (Brussels): Both the communities have equal representation.
- Community Government: This third kind of government is elected by people belonging to one language community irrespective of their place (Dutch, French and German). This government has power regarding cultural, educational and language-related issues.
- Hence, Belgium model proved to be successful.
There are mainly two reasons. First, Prudential and second moral .
- Prudential Reason: Power sharing is good (good for better outcomes) because it helps to reduce the possibility of conflict between social groups.
- Moral Reason: Power sharing is very spirit of democracy. It allows citizens to participate in government as they are the one who get affected by its exercise.
Finally, Above reasons made us realize the value of power sharing. In modern democracies, power sharing arrangements can take many forms. Let us discuss these forms.
- Horizontal Distribution of power sharing: There are three organs of government; legislature, executive, judiciary. At same level, they perform different functions. Also check and balance the functioning of each other. Thus, share the power horizontally.
- Vertical Distribution of power sharing: When power is shared among governments at different levels; Central/union, State/regional, local. We call it vertical distribution of power sharing.
- Power sharing among different social groups: In some countries constitutional and legal arrangements are made in order to give minority communities a fair share in power. For instance, reserved constituencies in India and community govt. in Belgium.
- Power sharing among political parties, pressure groups and movements: As we know that power sharing means division of power. This division can be of political parties in the form of coalition government. It can be of pressure groups who influence public opinions and govt. policies. For Example: interest groups of traders, businessmen, industrialists, farmers, students, industrial workers.
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Power-Sharing: The Need to Explore the “Who” and the “Where”
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Dawn Walsh, Power-Sharing: The Need to Explore the “Who” and the “Where”, International Studies Review , Volume 24, Issue 4, December 2022, viac052, https://doi.org/10.1093/isr/viac052
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Power-sharing provisions have been included in many peace agreements intended to end intra-state violent conflict, including, for example, in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Sudan, and Lebanon. Power-sharing has been subject to extensive scholarly examination. Many of these examinations focus on the impact of power-sharing on peace, often defined as the non-recurrence of violent conflict. However, the results of these examinations have not generated a consensus as to the value of power-sharing as a conflict management tool. This lack of consensus highlights a need to more clearly understand the effects of power-sharing. To fully comprehend the role of power-sharing, we must move away from simply asking if it is associated with the reoccurrence of violence and explore the paths through which it can contribute to different outcomes of interest, for example, group relations or stable government. Both Hartzell and Mehler (2019) and Keil and McCulloch (2021) seek to address this current weakness in our understanding of power-sharing, albeit in quite different ways. These books show that by paying closer attention to the impact of power-sharing on different outcomes, including a focus on the mechanisms that link its different power-sharing provisions to specific outcomes, we can develop a fundamentally deeper understanding of power-sharing.
En muchos acuerdos de paz destinados a poner fin a conflictos violentos intraestatales se han incluido disposiciones de reparto del poder, como por ejemplo en Irlanda del Norte, Bosnia, Sudán y Líbano. El reparto del poder ha sido objeto de numerosos estudios por parte de los investigadores. Muchos de estos estudios se centran en el impacto del reparto del poder con respecto a la paz, a menudo definida como la no recurrencia de conflictos violentos. Sin embargo, los resultados de estos estudios no han generado un consenso sobre el valor del reparto del poder como herramienta de gestión de conflictos. Esta falta de consenso pone de manifiesto la necesidad de comprender mejor los efectos del reparto del poder. Para comprender plenamente el papel del reparto del poder debemos dejar de preguntarnos simplemente si está asociado a la recurrencia de la violencia y explorar las vías a través de las cuales este puede contribuir a diferentes resultados de interés, por ejemplo, las relaciones de grupo o un gobierno estable. Tanto Hartzell y Mehler (2019) como Keil y McCulloch (2021) tratan de abordar esta debilidad actual en nuestra comprensión del reparto del poder, aunque de maneras bastante diferentes. Estos libros muestran que, si se presta más atención al impacto del reparto del poder en diferentes resultados, incluyendo un enfoque en los mecanismos que vinculan sus diferentes disposiciones de reparto del poder a resultados específicos, podemos desarrollar una comprensión fundamentalmente más profunda del reparto del poder.
Des dispositions relatives au partage du pouvoir sont intégrées dans de nombreux accords de paix visant à mettre un terme aux violences conflictuelles au sein d'un État, notamment en Irlande du Nord, en Bosnie, au Soudan et au Liban. Le partage du pouvoir a fait l'objet de nombreux travaux de recherche. Un grand nombre de ces travaux se focalise sur ses répercussions sur la paix, souvent définie comme la non-récurrence de violences conflictuelles. Cependant, les conclusions de ces travaux n'ont pas permis d'aboutir à un consensus quant à sa valeur en tant qu'outil de gestion des conflits. Ce manque de consensus met en évidence un besoin de clarification des effets du partage du pouvoir. Pour pleinement comprendre son rôle, nous devons dépasser la simple question de son association à la récurrence de violences pour nous intéresser aux façons dont il peut contribuer aux différents résultats qui nous intéressent, comme les relations de groupes ou la stabilité gouvernementale. Tant le livre de Hartzell et Mehler (2019) que celui de Keil et McCulloch (2021) visent à remédier à cette lacune actuelle dans notre compréhension du partage du pouvoir, mais de façons assez différentes. Ces publications montrent qu'en nous intéressant de plus près à son incidence sur plusieurs issues, y compris en nous concentrant sur les mécanismes qui relient ses différentes dispositions à des issues spécifiques, nous pouvons considérablement approfondir notre compréhension du partage du pouvoir.
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- NCERT Solutions
- NCERT Solutions for Class 10
- NCERT Solutions for Class 10 Social Science
- Class 10 Political Science
- Chapter 1 Power Sharing
NCERT Solutions For Class 10 Political Science (Civics) Social Science Chapter 1 : Power-sharing
Ncert book solutions for class 10 civics democratic politics-ii chapter 1 power-sharing – cbse free pdf download.
NCERT Solutions for Class 10 Civics Chapter 1 – Power-sharing contain the solutions to the exercises given in the Civics book – Democratic Politics-II. In this chapter, students will mainly find questions related to the vertical division of power-sharing among different levels of government. These NCERT Solutions provide the answers to all questions in a simple and easy-to-understand way. Attempting these answers in the exam will surely help the students in scoring high marks.
- Chapter 2 Federalism
- Chapter 3 Democracy and Diversity
- Chapter 4 Gender Religion and Caste
- Chapter 5 Popular Struggles and Movements
- Chapter 6 Political Parties
- Chapter 7 Outcomes of Democracy
- Chapter 8 Challenges to Democracy
Download NCERT Solutions for Class 10 Civics Chapter 1 Power-sharing
NCERT Solutions for Class 10 Civics Chapter 1 – Power-sharing
The Solutions for Chapter 1 of Democratic Politics-I are given below. Students should also check NCERT Solutions for Class 10 for other subjects.
Exercises Page No. 10
1. What are the different forms of power-sharing in modern democracies? Give an example of each of these.
There are different forms of power-sharing in modern democracies. They are given below:
- Horizontal distribution of power – Power is shared among different organs of government, such as the legislature, executive and judiciary. Example: India
- The federal division of power – Power can be shared among governments at different levels – a general government for the entire country and governments at the provincial or regional level. Example: India (Union Government and State Governments)
- Community government – Power may also be shared among different social groups, such as religious and linguistic groups. Example: Belgium
- Power-sharing between political parties, pressure groups and movements – Such competition ensures that power does not remain in one hand. In the long run, power is shared among different political parties that represent different ideologies and social groups.
2. State one prudential reason and one moral reason for power-sharing with an example from the Indian context.
While prudential reasons stress that power-sharing will bring out better outcomes. In India, the power is shared horizontally among various organs of government. The Legislature, Executive and Judiciary are responsible for administering India. Reservation is applicable in India, where various sections are given benefits over others to avoid conflicts.
Moral reasons emphasise the very act of power-sharing as valuable. In India, citizens are conferred with fundamental rights and directive principles of state policies are implied in the government.
3. After reading this chapter, three students drew different conclusions. Which of these do you agree with and why? Give your reasons in about 50 words. Thomman – Power sharing is necessary only in societies which have religious, linguistic or ethnic divisions. Mathayi – Power sharing is suitable only for big countries that have regional divisions. Ouseph – Every society needs some form of power-sharing, even if it is small or does not have social divisions.
Ouseph’s conclusion is the right one. Every state should have some or other form of power-sharing. Power-sharing ensures an optimum balance between different sections of society. The chances of conflict lessen, and so does the injustice. Hence, power-sharing becomes the value of democracy. Also, power-sharing is a good way to ensure the stability of political order
4. The Mayor of Merchtem, a town near Brussels in Belgium, has defended a ban on speaking French in the town’s schools. He said that the ban would help all non-Dutch speakers integrate into this Flemish town. Do you think that this measure is in keeping with the spirit of Belgium’s power-sharing arrangements? Give your reasons in about 50 words.
The measure of the Mayor of Merchtem to ban French-speaking in the town’s schools near Brussels is unfair. It does not keep with Belgium’s power-sharing arrangement. Power-sharing helps maintain a balance between different sections of society. In Belgium, there is a need to maintain the power-sharing between the Dutch and the French to avoid civil unrest. Banning the French will promote the tendency of civil unrest. To promote peace among different communities, the Mayor should promote a bilingual education system in the town’s schools.
5. Read the following passage and pick out any one of the prudential reasons for power sharing offered in this. “We need to give more power to the panchayats to realise the dream of Mahatma Gandhi and the hopes of the makers of our Constitution. Panchayati Raj establishes true democracy. It restores power to the only place where power belongs in a democracy – in the hands of the people. Giving power to Panchayats is also a way to reduce corruption and increase administrative efficiency. When people participate in the planning and implementation of developmental schemes, they would naturally exercise greater control over these schemes. This would eliminate the corrupt middlemen. Thus, Panchayati Raj will strengthen the foundations of our democracy.”
The prudential reason in the given passage is – “Giving power to Panchayats is also a way to reduce corruption and increase administrative efficiency.”
6. Different arguments are usually put forth in favour of and against power-sharing. Identify those which are in favour of power-sharing and select the answer using the codes given below. Power-sharing:
- reduces conflict among different communities
- decreases the possibility of arbitrariness
- delays the decision-making process
- accommodates diversities
- increases instability and divisiveness
- promotes people’s participation in government
G. undermines the unity of a country
7. Consider the following statements about power-sharing arrangements in Belgium and Sri Lanka.
- In Belgium, the Dutch-speaking majority people tried to impose their domination on the minority French-speaking community.
- In Sri Lanka, the policies of the government sought to ensure the dominance of the Sinhala-speaking majority.
- The Tamils in Sri Lanka demanded a federal arrangement of power-sharing to protect their culture, language and equality of opportunity in education and jobs.
- The transformation of Belgium from a unitary government to a federal one prevented a possible division of the country on linguistic lines.
Which of the statements given above is correct?
(a) A, B, C and D
(b) A, B and D
(c) C and D
(d) B, C and D
8. Match List I (forms of power-sharing) with List II (forms of government) and select the correct answer using the codes given below in the lists.
9. Consider the following two statements on power-sharing and select the answer using the codes given below.
A). Power-sharing is good for democracy.
B). It helps to reduce the possibility of conflict between social groups.
Which of these statements are true and false?
(b) Both A and B are true
Chapter 1 of NCERT Social Science Civics textbook – Democratic Politics-II will introduce students to a system called power-sharing in a democracy. This system of power-sharing allows the government to share its responsibilities and powers at different levels. In India, the legislature, executive, and judiciary are different organs that share the power to run the government in one way or the other. Class 10 students will be introduced to different forms of power-sharing with examples of Sri Lanka, Belgium and more.
The students will also get to know about the following topics:
- Belgium and Sri Lanka
- Majoritarianism in Sri Lanka
- Accommodation in Belgium
a. Why is power sharing desirable?
- Forms of power-sharing
‘Democratic Politics-II’ is an important book for Class 10 Social Science subject. Apart from this chapter, the full set of NCERT Solutions for Class 10 Social Science is also provided for students.
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Power-sharing Chapter Notes | Social Studies (SST) Class 10 PDF Download
In a democracy all power does not rest with any one organ of the government. An intelligent sharing of power among the legislature, executive and judiciary is very important for the design of democracy.
Story of Belgium and Sri Lanka
- Belgium was a European country 59% of people were Dutch-speaking while 40% were french-speaking and the remaining 1% were's German in the 1950s and 1960s.
- Although the French were 40% of the population they were richer than the rest of the population and had control of the economy. This created a lot of tension and French domination in Belgium.
- Sri Lanka is an island country near India. The major social groups in Sri Lanka after 1948 were Sinhala speakers which were 74% and the Tamil speakers 18%.
- Tamil speakers were also divided into Sri Lankan and Indian Tamils. The rest were other minor groups of the population.
Majoritarianism in Sri Lanka
- In 1956, an Act was passed in Sri Lanka which recognized only Sinhala as the official language and the Tamil speakers felt ignored by the government. After this, there were many more preferential policies that gave Sinhalese people more leverage while getting government jobs or admission to universities.
- Quite soon, many parties and political groups emerged, which launched a struggle for recognition of Tamil as one of the official languages of Sri Lanka.
- The Sri Lankan Government repeatedly denied the Tamil population this, which created a communal conflict and turned into a civil war. The civil war resulted in losses to both the parties and setback the Sri Lankan economy. It also resulted in a significant population becoming refugees by escaping to other countries.
Accommodation in Belgium
- The Central Government in Belgium will have an equal number of Dutch and French-speaking ministers. Selected laws will require the consent of the majority of members from each linguistic group.
- The state governments were not under the central government.
- Brussels, the capital of Belgium had a different government that also had equal representation of both linguistic groups.
- Apart from this, they had a community government that decided on all the matters regarding cultural education and language-related issues.
Why is power sharing desirable? Power-sharing is good because it helps to reduce the possibility of conflict between social groups. The second reason is that, 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. Let us call the first set of reasons Prudential and the second moral. The prudential reasons stress that power-sharing will bring out better outcomes, whereas the moral reasons emphasize the act of power-sharing as valuable.
Forms of Power-Sharing
- Power-sharing can be considered as the spirit of democracy as power is not concentrated in the hands of few people.
- Moreover, the people in power are not only responsible for their decisions but are also held accountable for them.
- Power-sharing also gives respect to each and every social group which is rarely seen in any other type of government except democracy.
- There are different ways in which power-sharing takes place in various democracies:
Power-Sharing between Different Organs of the Government
- The power division is horizontal where different organs of the government at the same level exercise different powers in their jurisdiction.
- This is easily seen in Indian democracy the legislature judiciary and executive function on the same level and yet have different jurisdictions.
Power-Sharing between Different Levels of Government
- This refers to the system where the power is distributed among various levels of government such as the central and provincial governments.
- This system is also known as federalism. India is a prime example of the federal system of government.
- In certain matters, the power-sharing is so exclusive that certain subjects are only exclusive to the union government or the state government.
Power-Sharing between Different Social Groups
- In this, various weak social groups are represented in the legislatures or administration through various reservations.
- This gives the various social groups a voice and power which might not have been given in other types of government.
Power-Sharing between Different Political Groups
- There are various political groups in the society like political parties, pressure groups, and other Public Interest groups which have a significant influence over the decision-making and law-making process in a democracy.
- Sometimes, political parties form an alliance and participate in direct power-sharing when they form a coalition government.
Power-Sharing between different states.
Power-Sharing between different organs of the government.
Power-Sharing between different levels of the government.
Power-Sharing between different political parties.
Because in horizontal distribution of power, power is shared among different organs of the government namely legislature, executive and judiciary. In this system, each organ checks the other and thus there exists a system of checks and balances.
Important Terms to Remember
- Power-sharing: Power-sharing is the distribution of power among the organs of the government like–legislature, executive, and judiciary. It is an intelligent step to ensure the stability of political order. Besides, power-sharing also includes sharing at the different levels like union, state, and local.
- Majoritarian: A concept which signifies a belief that the majority community should be able to rule a country in whatever way it wants is known as Majoritarian. In this type of rule, they disregard the wishes and needs of the minority.
- Ethnicity: A social division based on shared culture. Most people belonging to the same ethnic group believe in their common descent because they have similarities of physical type or culture or both. They may not have the same religion or nationality, e.g, French-speaking, Dutch-speaking, Sinhala speaking, etc.
- Community Government: A type of Government that is elected by people belonging to one language community is called community government. For example, Dutch, French, and German-speaking people form their respective community governments, no matter where they live. This is a very specific type of government in Belgium.
- Civil War: A violent conflict between opposing groups within a country is known as a civil war. Sometimes it becomes so intense that it appears like a war.
- Prudential: It is a set of reasons which favours power-sharing. It is based on prudence, or on careful calculation of gains and losses. Prudential reasons stress beneficial consequences.
- Checks and Balances: A system in which each organ of the government checks the others which results in a balance of power among various institutions. It ensures that none of the organs can exercise unlimited power.
- Vertical Division of Power: It is a type of distribution of power that involves the higher and lower levels of government such as central, provincial, and regional levels.
- Reserved Constituencies: It is a system in which constituencies are reserved in the Assemblies and the Parliament for minorities in order to give them a fair share in power.
- Coalition Government: When the alliance of two or more parties gets elected and forms a government it is known as the Coalition Government. This is another form of power-sharing.
Q.1. How did the Sri Lankan and the Belgium governments try to solve the ethnic problem?
The Belgium leaders tried to solve the ethnic problem by respecting the feelings and interests of different communities and regions, whereas the Sri Lanka Government tried to solve the problem through majoritarianism. The Belgium solution helped in avoiding civic strife, whereas the majoritarianism in Sri Lanka led to the civil war.
Q.2. Explain the prudential reasons for Power-sharing.
Power-sharing is desirable because it helps to reduce the possibility of conflict between the various social groups. Since social conflict often leads to violence and political instability, power-sharing is a good way to ensure political stability. Imposing the will of the majority community over the minority may look like an attractive option in the short run, but in the long run, it undermines the unity of the nation. Tyranny of the majority is not just oppressive for the minority, it often brings ruin to the majority as well.
Q.3. Explain the moral reason for power-sharing.
Power-sharing is the basic spirit of democracy. A democratic rule involves sharing of power with those affected by its exercise, and who have to live with its effects. The basic principles of power-sharing include: (i) Government of different political parties, i.e., a coalition government. (ii) Protection of minority rights. (iii) Decentralization of power.
Q.4. What is power-sharing?
Power-sharing is a strategy under which all the major segments of the society are provided with a permanent share of power in the governance of the country. It is a potential tool for solving disputes in a society divided by deep ethnic, cultural, or racial differences by giving the parties involved, a wide range of power-sharing to ameliorate the tensions through consensus-oriented governance. It involves a wide array of political arrangements– usually embodied in constitutional terms– in which the principal elements of society are guaranteed a place and influence, in governance. It relies on joint exercise of power where all principal groups are given a permanent share in the governance.
Q.5. Mention the steps taken by the Sri Lankan government to achieve majoritarianism.
(i) In 1956, an Act was passed under which English was replaced as the country’s official language not by Sinhala and Tamil but by Sinhala only. (ii) The governments followed preferential policies that favoured Sinhala applicants for university positions and government jobs. (iii) A new constitution was stipulated that the state shall protect and foster Buddhism. (iv) Denial of citizenship to estate Tamils.
Q.6. Why is power sharing desirable?
(i) To avoid conflict: It reduces the possibility of conflict between the various social groups. Since social conflict often leads to violence and political instability, power-sharing is a good way to ensure political stability. Imposing the will of the majority community over the minority may look like an attractive option in the short run, but in long run, it undermines the unity of the nation. Tyranny of the majority is not just oppressive for the minority, it often brings ruin to the majority as well. (ii) Spirit of democracy: Power sharing is the basic spirit of democracy. A democratic rule involves the sharing of power with those affected by its exercise and those who have to live with its effects. A democratic government is chosen by the people. So they are to be governed. A legitimate government is one where groups, through participation acquire a stake in the system.
Q.7. Explain the difference between horizontal and vertical power-sharing.
1. Horizontal Power sharing (i) Under horizontal power-sharing, power is shared among different organs of government such as the legislature, executive, and judiciary. (ii) Under horizontal distribution of power, organs of the government are placed at the same level to exercise different powers. (iii) Under horizontal power-sharing, each organ checks the other. 2. Vertical Power sharing Fig. Vertical power-sharing (i) Under the vertical sharing power, power is shared among the different levels of the governments. (ii) The vertical division of power involves the highest and the lower levels of government. (iii) Under vertical power-sharing the lower organs work under the higher organs .
Q.8. Explain the power-sharing arrangements among the political parties and pressure groups.
In a democracy, power is also shared among different political parties, pressure groups and movements. Democracy provides the citizens with a choice to choose their rulers. This choice is provided by the various political parties, who contest elections to win them. Such competition ensures that power does not remain in one hand. In the long run, power is shared among the different political parties that represent different ideologies and social groups. Sometimes, this kind of sharing can be direct, when two or more parties form an alliance to contest elections. If their alliance is elected, they form a coalition government and thus share power. In a democracy, various pressure groups and movements also remain active. They also have a share in governmental power, either through participation in governmental committees or having an influence on the decision-making process.
Q.9. How is a federal government better than a unitary government? Explain with examples of Belgium and Sri Lanka.
Federalism is a system of government under which power is divided between central authority and its various constituent units. The Belgium leaders tried to solve the ethnic problem by respecting communities and regions by establishing a federal government, whereas the Sri Lankan government tried to solve the problem through majoritarianism. The Belgium solution helped in avoiding civic strife, whereas the majoritarianism in Sri Lanka led to the civil war.
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