Encyclopedia of Law and Economics

2019 Edition
| Editors: Alain Marciano, Giovanni Battista Ramello

Separation of Power

  • Katarzyna Metelska-SzaniawskaEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-7753-2_656


For centuries, the structure of power in the state raised the interest of political and social thinkers, as well as practitioners. Separation of powers constituted an important focus of these considerations. The crucial aspect of this principle involves distinguishing generically distinct spheres of state action and providing that a separate body, or a group of state bodies, is responsible for operation in each of these areas. In this way, concentration of power is prevented, which otherwise could potentially lead to power abuse and excessive restraints on fundamental rights and liberty. A classic element of the principle of separation of powers is the system of checks and balances. As opposed to complete concentration (fusion) of power, separation of powers is considered an essential element of a democratic political system and “good” governance.

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Economic SciencesUniversity of WarsawWarsawPoland