What is Pluralism?
Pluralism is a powerful protest against the monistic theory of sovereignty, which endows the state with supreme and unlimited power. The pluralistic theory originated in the writings of Otto V. Gierke. The pluralist challenges the claims of the state to supremacy on the ground that the society consists of many associations and the state is one among them. Hence, the state cannot be endowed with sovereign power of the community. There exists many social, political, cultural and economic institutions in society and many of these institutions are prior to the state. For example, Family and church are prior to the state.
v Harold J. Laski
v J.N. Figgis
v Ernest Barker
v G.H Cole
In democracy, the authority of the ruler is confined, the cabinet becomes more powerful but the state remains sovereign and supreme. With the advent of the welfare state there came a rapid increase in the functions of the state and there remained no sphere of life with which the state did not interfere, the sovereign and the supreme state also faced revolt and reaction. This reaction against the sovereign and supreme state resulted into the dawn of pluralism.
v Pluralism upholds the importance of associations and claim more autonomy for it.
v For democracy to flourish the sovereign state must not be subject to any legal authority.
v Division of sovereignty leads to the destruction of sovereignty and in the absence of sovereignty, anarchy will prevail in society.
v Itis the Sovereign state that brings about unity and regulates all the associations existing in society.
v Laws are framed by the state unlike the belief of pluralist.
v State is needed for protecting people from the excess of associations.