Political decentralization aims to give citizens or their elected representatives more power in public decision-making. It is often associated with pluralistic politics and representative government, but it can also support democratization by giving citizens, or their representatives, more influence in the formulation and implementation of policies. Advocates of political decentralization assume that decisions made with greater participation will be better informed and more relevant to diverse interests in society than those made only by national political authorities. The concept implies that the selection of representatives from local electoral jurisdictions allows citizens to know better their political representatives and allows elected officials to know better the needs and desiresof their constituents.
Devolution. A third type of administrative decentralization is devolution. When governments devolve functions, they transfer authority for decision-making, finance, and management to quasi-autonomous units of local government with corporate status. Devolution usually transfers responsibilities for services to municipalities that elect their own mayors and councils, raise their own revenues, and have independent authority to make investment decisions. In a devolved system, local governments have clear and legally recognized geographical boundaries over which they exercise authority and within which they perform public functions. It is this type of administrative decentralization that underlies most political decentralization.
Many of us think that these two terms are one and the same thing, but there exists a fine line of difference between power and authority. While the former is exercised in a personal capacity, the latter is used in a professional capacity. So, on this topic, we are going to throw light on the basic differences between the two, have a look.
After reviewing the above points, it is quite clear that power and authority are two different things, where power has nothing to do with level or management or position. On the other hand, authority completely depends on these two, i.e. the position level determines the level of authority a person has. In addition to this, the authority relationships, i.e. the relationship between superior and subordinate are depicted on the organisational chart. Conversely, the power relationship is not shown in the organisation chart.
Governance refers to a set of institutions and actors that are drawn from but also beyond the Government. It challenges the authority of the State or the Government in the traditional sense and maintains that the Government is not the only power center of a state. As long as the power exercised by a public or private institution is recognized by the public, it is possible to become a power center at a specific level.
Governance recognizes the capacity to get things done without relying on the power of the Government to command or use its authority. In public affairs management, there are other management tools and techniques and the Government has the responsibility to use them to steer and guide public affairs (Stoker 1999).
Second, power runs in different directions in management processes. For government by the State, power runs top-down all the time as it exercises the political authority of the Government to implement one-way management on social and public affairs by issuing orders and making and executing policies. By comparison, as an administrative process of interaction between the upper and lower levels, the body of governance manages public affairs through cooperation, negotiation, partnership, establishment of identity and common goals, etc. In essence, governance is cooperation based on market principles, common interest and identity. Its administrative mechanism does not rely on the authority of the Government substantially, but rather, the authority of a collaborative network. Its power is multi-directional and two-way, rather than unidirectional and top-down.
Good governance is the active and productive cooperation between the State and citizens, and the key to its success lies in the powers participating in political administration. Only when citizens have sufficient political power to participate in elections, policy-making, administration and supervision can they prompt the State and join hands with it to build public authority and order. Apparently, democracy is the only practical mechanism that can safeguard the fully free and equal political power owned by citizens. Hence, good governance is organically combined with democracy. In an autocratic system, it is possible to have good government when the system is at its best, but it is impossible to have good governance. Good governance can only be achieved in a free and democratic political system, as it cannot emerge without freedom and democracy.
This difference arises, as we have said, from the peculiar character of the Government of the United States. For although it is sovereign and supreme in its appropriate sphere of action, yet it does not possess all the powers which usually belong to the sovereignty of a nation. Certain specified powers, enumerated in the Constitution, have been conferred upon it; and neither the legislative, executive, nor judicial departments of the Government can lawfully exercise any authority beyond the limits marked out by the Constitution. And in regulating the judicial department, the cases in which the courts of the United States shall have jurisdiction are particularly and specifically enumerated and defined; and they are not authorized to take cognizance of any case which does not come within the description therein specified. Hence, when a plaintiff sues in a court of the United States, it is necessary that he should show, in his pleadings, that the suit he briars is within the jurisdiction of the court, and that he is entitled to sue there. And if he omits to do this, and should, by any oversight of the Circuit Court, obtain a judgment in his favor, the judgment would be reversed in the appellate court for want of jurisdiction in the court below. The jurisdiction would not be presumed, as in the case of a common-law English or State court, unless the contrary appeared. But the record, when it comes before the appellate court, must show, affirmatively, that the inferior court had authority, under the Constitution, to hear and determine the case. And if the plaintiff claims a right to sue in a Circuit Court of the United States, under that provision of the Constitution which gives jurisdiction in controversies between citizens of discreet States, he must distinctly aver in his pleadings that they are citizens of different States; add he cannot maintain his suit without showing that fact in the pleadings.
The situation of this population was altogether unlike that of the Indian race. The latter, it is true, formed no part of the colonial communities, and never amalgamated with them in social connections or in government. But although they were uncivilized, they were yet a free and independent people, a sociated together in nations or tribes, and governed by their own laws. Many of these political communities were situated in territories to which the white race claimed the ultimate right of dominion. But that claim was acknowledged to be subject to the right of the Indians to occupy it as long as they thought proper, and neither the English nor colonial Governments claimed or exercised any dominion over the tribe or nation by whom it was occupied, nor claimed the right to the possession of the territory, until the tribe or nation consented to cede it. These Indian Governments were regarded and treated as foreign Governments, as much so as if an ocean had separated the red man from the white; and their freedom has constantly been acknowledged, from the time of the first emigration to the English colonies to the present day, by the different Governments which succeeded each other. Treaties have beeen negotiated with them, and their alliance sought for in war; and the people who compose these Indian political communities have always been treated as foreigners not living under our Government. It is true that the course of events has brought the Indian tribes within the limits of the United States under subjection to the white race; and it has been found necessary, for their sake as well as our own, to regard them as in a state of pupilage, and to legislate to a certain extent over them and the territory they occupy. But they may, without doubt, like the subjects of any other foreign Government, be naturalized by the authority of Congress, and become citizens of a State, and of the United States; and if an individual should leave his nation or tribe, and take up his abode among the white population, he would be entitled to all the rights and privileges which would belong to an emigrant from any other foreign people.
The words \"people of the United States\" and \"citizens\" are synonymous terms, and mean the same thing. They both describe the political body who, according to our republican institutions, form the sovereignty, and who hold the power and conduct the Government through their representatives. They are what we familiarly call the \"sovereign people,\" and every citizen is one of this people and a constituent member of this sovereignty. The question before us is, whether the class of persons described in the plea in abatement compose a portion of this people, and are constituent members of this sovereignty We think they are not, and that they are not included, and were not intended to be included, under the word \"citizens\" in the Constitution, and can therefore claim none of the rights and privileges which that instrument provides for and secures to citizens of the United States. On the contrary, they were at that time considered as a subordinate and inferior class of beings, who had been subjugated by the dominant race, and, whether emancipated or not, yet remained subject to their authority, and had no rights or privileges but such as those who held the power and the government might choose to grant them. 153554b96e