Limitations and Disadvantages of Unitary Form of Government

Sun, 02/10/2013 - 06:30 -- Umar Farooq

Disadvantages of Unitary Form of Government

Following are the limitations, demerits and disadvantages of unitary state or government

Fails in Multi-Racial States

The states of vast areas and multi-races cannot effectively be controlled or governed by the unitary form of government. Such unitary states are unstable because of racial conflicts that can be controlled only by a federal form of government. Large states cannot be run through unitary set-up for in unitary system the whole state powers are in the grip of central government that has no access to far-plunged rural areas. Therefore unitary system is ineffective in multi racial states and states having vast area.

Urban Supremacy

Central government has no knowledge of the problems and needs of the far rural areas. Remote rural areas can be dealt effectively by the federal or decentralized system. Centralization of authority is itself a problem and unitary system often causes totalitarianism. It is the government of the urban people where state administration is practically in the control of the urban citizens. Government services and influence is always confined to cities. This government has less influence and control in rural areas and such areas are deprived of the state fruits.

Despotism in Government

In unitary system, central government has a centralized command and there are no sub-ordinate governments to have check on the center, therefore central government becomes despotic and unchecked. Federation provides opportunities to both the governments to have check upon each other. Because of short of check, central government is to exercise all state powers and maximum of such powers is often used in extra-constitutional mode. So despotism is the disadvantage of unitary form of government.

Less Democratic Form of Government

Unitary form of government empowers urban bureaucracy and ignores the rural needs. This system is useful only in small states e.g. Britain and Iran etc. In large states, unitary form of government is less democratic for it is dominated and controlled by the urban citizens and rural people have less share it.