Global Affairs

Jul 10, 2018

Dicey defines political sovereignty as, "behind the sovereign which the lawyers recognise, there is another sovereign more superior. It is political sovereign." Political sovereign is the body of politically sovereign individuals the will of whom is obeyed by all citizens.


This concept is vague. Political sovereign may be power of people, public opinion, the electorate or a dominant army or priesthood. It varies with state's nature.


Relationship of political and legal sovereign in democracy of Ancient Greece was worth evaluating as people themselves were legal and political sovereign. But in contemporary indirect democracy, the political sovereign I.e. the electorate is influenced by political parties, press, public speeches and friendly talks. This makes the will of political sovereign subject to the ideas of various agents. Yet, still legal sovereign bows to the polo sovereign. It doesn't mean that sovereignty is divided in a state. It is manifestation of two aspects of Sovereignty through two different channels. Since political sovereign cannot directly legislate, they choose legal sovereign for the very purpose.


Leacock criticised the theory that political sovereign is difficult to locate. Voters and public opinion are not political sovereigns as they are influenced by propaganda. Further, the political sovereignty theory doesn't reject the existence of legal sovereignty. What it rejects is the omnipotence of the latter.


Now it is for the readers to decide who is real political sovereign in a state.

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