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Explain the Reasons Why the Power of the Executive Has Grown in Recent Years. - Political Science

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Answer in Brief

Explain the reasons why the power of the Executive has grown in recent years.

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Solution

Factors responsible for the increase in the power the executive :

  • The Rise of the Welfare State :
    In the 19th century, the state used to be a police state having the responsibility of performing only the protection functions for the people. It has little role to play towards the promotion of social economic and cultural interests of the people. However, in the 20th century, the state got transformed into a welfare state responsible for performing social-economic development functions along with the traditional protection functions. A big increase took place in the functions of the state and it came to be an administrative welfare state. Naturally, it led to a big increase in the functions of the executive. In the 21st century, the era of globalization has opened and this has given a new push to the functions of the executive.
  • System of Delegated Legislation :
    When the legislature delegates its law-making powers to the executive and the latter makes laws on the basis of the delegated powers, the system is called Delegated Legislation. Several factors increased pressure of work, lack of expert and technical knowledge, the technical nature of modem law-making, the paucity of time and the rise of welfare administration always compel a modem legislature to delegate its law-making powers to the executive. This has considerably strengthened the position of executive. At times, the legislature finds it essential even to delegate abnormal law-making powers to the executive. The ever-increasing scope of delegated legislation has been responsible for a big increase in the powers of the executive.
  • System of Administrative Justice :
    A modem executive has come to acquire and perform several quasi-judicial functions for meeting the new needs resulting from the rise of a complex industrial society. Cases involving grant of permits, licenses, quotas and tax-cases are today being adjudicated by the executive. It has increased the powers of the executive in a big way.
  • Important Functions of Executive:
    In contemporary times, the most important functions of the government have come to be conduct of international relations, war and peace functions, international trade, import and export regime, international finance, security of the state, treaty-making, fighting the menace of terrorism, fiscal management and the like. All these functions are the functions of the executive. Naturally therefore, the role and importance of the executive has registered a big growth in contemporary times.
  • Planning Functions :
    The executive has the responsibility to make social economic development plans, to get these carried through in the legislature and then to implement these in actual practice. The executive prepares and implements developmental programmes and leads the process of social economic development. This has been a source of big increase is the powers of the executive.
  • Decline in the Role of the Legislature :
    The legislature in every state has virtually suffered a decline. It has become a talking shop. Intense party politics which characterizes its functioning has adversely affected its working. Dependence upon the system of delegated legislature has further declined the role of legislature. The loss of legislature has been a gain of the executive. 
  • The availability of the Services of Civil Servants :
    One part of the executive consists of the expert, trained and professional class of civil servants. The civil servants are a source of expertise and professionalism for the executive. The political executive always utilizes their services as the civil servant's work under the political-leadership of the political executive makes the executive an efficient and strong organ of the state. The executive, as such, has come to be in a position to use its powers and perform its functions in a vigorous way. This has been a source of increase in its powers.
  • Executive’s Control over Military and Police :
    The defense of the security of the state against foreign aggressions and threats has been a key function of the executive. Likewise, the executive has the responsibility to maintain law and order in the country. For this it has at its disposal the services of military, police and para-military forces. It has indeed been a source of strength for the executive.
  • The power to meet emergencies and the power to provide relief to the people :
    It is the prime responsibility of the executive to deal with emergencies and natural calamities. The executive provides relief to the victims of all-natural and man-made calamities. This has been a factor in the increase in the role and importance of the executive. Due to all these factors the power of the executive has grown and is still growing. Increased power and role of the executive is a reality of our times. It appears to be a natural phenomenon, in fact, a natural necessity of a complex industrial society.

It is also a necessary condition for the development of a developing country. Consequently, the power of the executive has grown in all countries both developed and developing, Western as well as Eastern, Asian, African, European, Latin American and in fact in all parts of the world without any exception.

Concept: Parliamentary and Presidential Forms of Government (U.K. and U.S.A.)
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