Difference between Vertical and Horizontal Power Sharing

हिंदी में पढ़ें
August 23, 2021
By Advocate Chikirsha Mohanty

What is Power Sharing?

Power Sharing is the process of distributing power amongst different parts or organs of the government such as the three tiers of the government i.e, the legislative, executive and judiciary. Power-sharing also involves the division of powers within different levels of the government like union, state, local etc.

We live in a modern world where most countries are democratic nations where there is a division of power. Democracy is a government by the people, for the people and of the people. So, an ideal democracy would prefer all groups to be having their share of powers and that is where the notion of power-sharing arose from. Such division of powers is very crucial to the proper running and functioning of the countries. With the help of this concept, many countries have been successful in achieving stability in the political sphere.

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What are the Different Types of Power-Sharing?

There are mainly three forms of power-sharing. They are as follows:

1.Vertical Power Sharing

2.Horizontal Power Sharing

3.Distribution of powers amongst social groups

What is the Need for Power-Sharing?

In this modern-day and age, democratic governments are held accountable and have to be legitimate which is why power-sharing becomes so crucial. It tries to resolve any kind of conflicts that might be persisting between groups in society. In a democracy, people take part in the decision making indirectly or directly and that is why power-sharing forms the very spirit of the democracy as it helps in the efficient working of a government without any disputes or conflicts.

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Horizontal Power Sharing

In a horizontal power-sharing or division of power, the powers are divided between the organs of the government namely the executive, legislature and judiciary. India is a country where there is a horizontal division of power. It is sharing the concept of separation of powers.

Vertical Power Sharing

In Vertical power-sharing or division of power, the powers are divided between the different levels of the government. This is very prevalent in countries that follow a federal form of government. This means there is a union, state and local government and powers are divided amongst these layers of the government. The United States of America is an example of a federal state which follows the vertical distribution of power.

Power Sharing amongst Different Social Groups

In a society, there exists a lot of social groups. For the better functioning of the State, powers are shared amongst these different types of social groups like religious associations, political parties, linguistic groups etc. This is usually done to give power to the weaker sections of society. Sometimes the idea behind such a division of power is to also provide representation to minority groups who might feel vulnerable in the society if they are not given any powers.

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Difference between Vertical and Horizontal Division of Powers

1.Horizontal power-sharing is the division of powers amongst the organs of the government. Vertical Power sharing is the division of powers amongst the different levels of the government.

2.Horizontal power sharing is the division of powers at the same level which possesses varied powers. Vertical Power sharing is the division of powers amongst different levels of the government.

3.In Horizontal power-sharing each organ is a separate entity and keeps the other organ in check. Hence, there is a check-in power that is possessed by each organ. In Vertical power-sharing, each unit is subordinate to the central unit. So, there is no balance as every unit is controlled and accountable to the central unit in the end.

4.Horizontal power-sharing promotes the notion of having a democratic nation. Hence, it encourages the expansion of Democracy. Vertical Power Sharing promotes the notion of deepening the levels of democracy.

5.In horizontal power-sharing the organs work at the same levels but have varied purposes which are distinct from one another. In Vertical Power Sharing the units work at different levels but work towards the same purpose.

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Power Sharing in India

India is a democratic republic with a quasi-federal government. In a country like India, there is a presence of both Horizontal and Vertical power-sharing. In a quasi-federal nation, there isn’t an equal division of powers between the centre and the state. Essentially, it means that the powers are divided between the centre and the state but if there are disputes on particular issues the decision of the centre prevails. Hence, there is an existence of Vertical power-sharing. The powers are also distributed between the Executive, legislation and the judiciary with checks and balances of such powers thereby proving the existence of horizontal power-sharing.



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