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Nat. Mun. Hcv. Jan., 1920.

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Comp. Legis. and Inter. Law. Jan., 1920.

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1920.

POLITICAL THEORY AND MISCELLANEOUS

Books

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388 THE AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE REVIEW

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RECENT PUBLICATIONS OF POLITICAL INTEREST 389

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GOVERNMENT PUBLICATIONS

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Senate. Mission of the United States to Poland: message from the President
of the United States transmitting pursuant to a senate resolution of Oct. 28,
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390 THE AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE REVIEW

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No. 7. Eminent domain and excess condemnation.

No. 8. The lecislative department.

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No. 10. The j udicial department, ; ury , srand j ury and claims against the state.

No. 11. Loom governments in Chicago and Cook County.

No. 12. County end local sovernment in Illinois.

No. 18. Farm tenancy and rural credits.

No. 14. Social and economic jproblems.

No. i5. Bill of rights, education, militia, suffrage and election, preamble, boundary, distribu-
tion of iMwers, schedule.

. Constitution of the state of Illinois. Annotated. Springfield.

317 pp.

MONTANA

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RECENT PUBLICATIONS OF POLITICAL INTEREST 391

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and Germany, the protocol annexed thereto, the agreement respecting the mili-
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392 THE AMERICAN POLITICAL SaENCE REVIEW

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SEP 271920



The American
Political Science Review

Vol. XIV AUGUST, 1920 No. 3

THE PLURALISTIC STATE

ELLEN DEBORAH ELLIS
Mount Hotyoke College

The doctrine of the pluralistic state has found its most out-
spoken advocate in this country in Mr. Harold J. Laski, — an
Englishman, recently of Harvard University, and more recently
still called back to England to the London School of Economics
of the University of London. A number of channels of thought
have come together in Mr. Laski's present- formulation of the
doctrine. Among those in England from whom he received much
inspiration and suggestion may be mentioned the late Professor
Maitland, and Dr. J. Neville Figgis, as well as Mr. Graham
Wallas, and Mr. Ernest Barker.

Professor Maitland's work in this field is closely associated
with that of Dr. Otto Gierke in Germany, to the third volume of
one of whose works. Das Deutsche Genossenschaftsrechty which Pro-
fessor Maitland translated, he wrote his famous Introduction in
which he stated his own views with regard to the real and truly cor-
porate personality, not only of the state but of other social group-
ings as well. Another of Gierke's works is Die Genossenschafts-
theorie, in which it is attempted to show, to quote Dr. Figgis,
''how under the facts of modern life the civilian theory of cor-
porations is breaking down on all hands, and that even in Ger-
many, in spite of the deliberate adoption of the Romanist doc-



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394 THE AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE REVIEW

trine, the courts and sometimes even the laws are bemg driven
to treat corporate societies as though they were real and not
fictitious persons, and to regard such personality as the natural
consequence of permanent association, not a mere mark to be
imposed or withheld by the sovereign power."^ Dr. Figgis's
main contribution was through his Churches in the Modem
State, and Graham Wallas's, chiefly in his Human Nature in
Politics and The Great Society. Mr. Barker's theory is foimd
especially in his paper "The Discredited State," published in
The Political Quarterly for February, 1915.

Among French writers, Mr. Laski probably quotes M. L^on
Duguit, for twenty-five years or more professor of law at the
University of Bordeaux, as often as anyone. M. Duguit is the
author of many works, in which among other things he clwms to
establish what he terms a juridical limitation on state sovereignty
as opposed to the doctrine of the absolute state. The theory of
sjmdicalism in France, also, as well as that of guild socialism in
England, has made its contribution to the content of Mr.
Laski's thought, and many other influences might be mentioned.
Mr. Laski's own main works on the subject, in which he presents
a very complete pluralistic doctrine, have been his Problems of
Sovereignty and more recently his Authority in the Modem State.

Closely associated with the pluralistic doctrine in America also,
although not in reality identified with it, is the recent work of
Miss M. P. Follett, The New State. In this, she lays great stress
as do the pluralists, on group organization as an important key
to modern social and political problems. But, unlike the plural-
ists, she denies to the separate groupings an isolated sover-
eignty, while in their interdependence and interpenetration she
finds the unifying elements of the one supreme sovereignty of
the new democratic state of the future.^

The doctrine of the pluralistic state, as can be inferred from,
its name, stands in opposition to that of the monistic state,
w^hich with all that it impUes has long been the accepted state
theory of political science. The monistic theory found its origin

* Figgis, Churches in the Modern StaUf pp. 65, 56.

* See especially The New State, pp. 282 flf.



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THE PLUKALISTIC STATE 395

in antiquity, and during the middle ages survived the competi-
tion, on the one hand of the ''Christiano-Gernlanic"^ idea of the
liberty and sovereignty of the individual, and on the other of the
medieval idea of the essentially federaUstic nature of society,
until in the sixteenth century it was given by Bodin what has
become its classic modern form. The Austinian formulation of
the doctrine of sovereignty, to the essence of which, in spite of
much adverse criticism as to form, the orthodox poUtical scien-
tist still clings, is but a further and more explicit statement of
the theory enimciated by Bodin.

According to the monistic theory of the state and of sover-
eignty, the state is defined, to begin with, as the political organi-
zation of society. But the term political must itself be defined,
and by political organization the adherents of this school mean,
that organization which may be obseryed as enforcing its will, in
the last analysis, by coercion through the use of physical force.
It is to this form of organization, which they find practically uni-
versal in society, that they give the name political to distinguish
it from other forms of social organization and grouping. On
further analysis also they claim to discover, as would obviously be
necessary, that the political organization has at its disposal the
major physical force of the commimity, and to the element in
the political organization which thus controls the major physical
force the name sovereign is given, and its power thus to enforce
its will is called sovereignty. This is really only another way of
saying that whenever in any organized social grouping there is a
factor to which for any reason the possessors of the major physi-
cal force are so bound that they respond with their physical
power to the call of this controlling factor for assistance in en-
forcing upon the recalcitrant obedience to its conmiand, there
we have a political organization or the state. It wiU be noted
that according to this analysis such enforcement becomes neces-
sary, or seems to the controlling factor to be necessary or desir-
able, because there are in the community those who oppose
its will, and whom it can thereby coerce into obedience.

» Gierke, Political Theories of the Middle Age, p. 88.



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396 THE AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE REVIEW

Of such a political community other characteristics, also, are
pointed out by the orthodox school:

In the first place, they affirm, the political organization has a
territorial basis; that is the exercise of its coercive power is
extended over the people on a given territory, such territory
being limited only by the extent of the control exercised by the
sovereign power.

Secondly, in a given territorial political organization, they de-
clare, there is and can be only one such sovereign power as they
describe; that is they affirm unity as a necessary characteristic of
the state. For by their very definition they assert that among
the many different bonds that are at all times operating to unite
men in society, there is one stronger than the others, to which they
give their preference and to which they give their physical sup-
port when it is demanded, even though other allegiances may
also be demanding it. If a man cannot choose between tw^o loy-
alties or allegiances, he is, so far as state organization is concerned,
rendered impotent and is at the mercy of those who can and do
make the choice, and who support their choice wuth their physical
force. If different men in a social organization choose different
allegiances for such physical support, then the result, they say,
is, of necessity, either conflict between the two until it is estab-
lished which is in reaUty the stronger and able to subdue and hold
subject the other, or else, if neither is able to prove itself deci-
sively the stronger, the setting up of two political organizations,
and two unified states instead of one.

Thirdly, they declare that this sovereignty that they are de-
scribing is absolute, all powerful, unlimited, final, supreme. It
is absolute, supreme, all powerful, largely because of its especial
nature; that is because the weapon of which it makes use is
just that weapon against which, temporally and finitely speaking,
nothing can prevail, and it is essentially with temporal and
finite concerns that political society is occupied. The spiritual
weapons of the church, for instance, stand out in marked con-
trast to that wielded by the state, since after the spiritual penal-
ties have all been inflicted, and the church can go no further, the
individual still, to all intents and purposes occupies the same



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THE PLURALISTIC STATE 397

place in political society that he occupied before. And likewise
with regard to economic penalties imposed by an economic group
or by the state; they may be such that if rigorously applied, they
would cut off the springs of human life; but, inasmuch as they
are more indirect, they are more uncertain in their working, and
moreover, for their final application they must often call upon
the arm of the physical power. The coercive power of the state,
on the contrary, can and does in the last resort remove all op-
position by removing those who oppose its will. As an absolute,
supreme, all powerful organization, the power of the state, also,
is unlimited according to this doctrine. For only that which is
not limited by something stronger than itself, can be absolute
in this sense.

Fourthly, the American exponents, at least, of the orthodox
theory also make a distinction between what they regard as the
original fundamental political organization or state, and the
machinery through which it expresses its sovereign will, to which
machinery the name government is given. That which they
term the state acts of its own initiative and energy and power;
that which they term government is only the agent of the state,
and is clearly dependent on state power and ultimately on state
will. This distinction has been perhaps most clearly set forth



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