Dividing To Conquer: Using The Separation Of Powers To Structure Institutional Inter-relations

Achieving Ethical Excellence

ISBN: 978-1-78441-245-6, eISBN: 978-1-78441-246-3

ISSN: 1529-2096

Publication date: 4 October 2014


The separation of powers constitutes a vital feature of western democracies, enshrined in myriad federal and state constitutions. Yet, as a broad principle, theorists struggle to pin down its precise nature, and many contend that the tripartite separation of state powers into legislative, executive and judicial branches proves simplistic and infeasible. I argue we should understand the separation of powers as a strategy used to structure relations between the separated institutions. This process of structuring empowers the creation of novel inter-relations among institutions (relations of balancing, checking, dividing, coordinating and so on), with the goal of improving their institutional integrity. In short, we separate only to reconnect.



Hugh Breakey (2014). 'Dividing To Conquer: Using The Separation Of Powers To Structure Institutional Inter-relations', Achieving Ethical Excellence (Research in Ethical Issues in Organizations, Volume 12). Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 29-58

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: https://doi.org/10.1108/S1529-209620140000012005



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