Theories of Partial Separation of Powers

Subject: Politics & Government
Pages: 3
Words: 609
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: College

Partial separation of powers – is the model of governance in which three branches of power overlap in some ways. That means that legislative, executive and judicial branches share some powers and responsibilities. In England, for example, judicial power is involved in the affairs of the government which means the separation is imperfect (Bradley and Ewing 81). Most of the modern states follow this model in one way or another. Pure separation of power is almost impossible to achieve.

Charles-Louis Montesquieu – is the French lawman and philosopher who first came up with the concept of the separation of powers. He is one of the most famous political theorists in the world. His ideas are implemented in most of the constitutions of the modern democratic states (Boesche 1).

Consent of the governed – is the concept which suggests that the government is legitimate only as long as the people it governs consent to its rule. The idea is opposite to the divine right of kings which stated that some people are rulers by birthright, and their actions cannot be questioned (Sabine 371).

Concurrent powers – are powers exercised by both the state government and federal governments in the federal system. These powers are contrasted to the exclusive federal powers and state rights. State law is considered supreme in case of conflict (Zimmerman 78).

Federalist papers – is the collection of essays by the American publicists Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay written and published in 1787-1788. The papers were created to promote the ratification of the Constitution of the United States. They explain and discuss the ideas of the Constitution arguing for the new governmental system.

Executive privilege – is right by the members of the executive branch of the US government, including the president, to resist certain attempts by the members of the other branches to access information and personnel related to the executive branch. The Supreme Court ruled out that this privilege is a part of the separation of powers doctrine (United States v. Nixon 7). It essentially means that the members of the executive branch of power are protected from the legal inquiries by the other branches.

War Power Acts – is an act ratified in 1973 by the US government. It limits the ability of the President to commit acts of war without the consent of the Congress. It states that the president must notify the Congress within 48 hours of commanding the US troops to act abroad. Without the authorization by the Congress and the declaration of war, the troops can stay abroad for a maximum of 60 days with the consecutive 30-day withdrawal period.

Necessary and Expedient Clause – is the clause in the Constitution of the United States which states that Congress has the power to create any laws necessary to execute the powers vested by the Constitution. That means that Congress has the right to act in accordance with Constitution as it sees fit. James Madison stated that the Constitution would be a “dead letter” without this clause.

Divided Government – is the situation when one political party controls the White House and the other controls one or even both houses of the United States Congress. The situation means that it is harder for the branches of power to reach agreement on anything. Some people view such separation as beneficial since it prevents either party from pushing an agenda without opposition.

Fiscal Conservatives – are the proponents of limiting government spending and the state debt. They usually stand for lower taxes, privatization and pay-as-you-go policies. That means that fiscal conservatives oppose deficit spending and increasing the government debt (Freeman 109).

Works Cited

Boesche, R. “Fearing Monarchs And Merchants: Montesquieu’s Two Theories Of Despotism”. Political Research Quarterly 43.4 (1990): 741-761. Print.

Bradley, A. W, and K.D Ewing. Constitutional and Administrative Law (14 ed.). Harlow, United Kingdom: Longman, 2007. Print.

Freeman, Robert M. Correctional Organization And Management. Boston, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann, 1999. Print.

Sabine, George. A History of Political Theory. New York, NY: Holt, Rinehart and Winston,1937. Print.

United States v. Nixon. United States Supreme Court, 1974. Web.

Zimmerman, Joseph H. The Initiative, Second Edition: Citizen Lawmaking. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2014. Print.