10 Main Differences between State and Association

Some of the main differences between state and association are as follows:

Before or understanding the difference between a State and Association, let us first know the meaning of Association. An association is a voluntarily organised union or group or institution of some people for securing a particular need or some needs. MacIver writes: “An association is a group of individuals, who are organised to achieve a particular objective or some objectives.”

Associations are of several types. There are associations of the labour, trade, government employees and others. There are economic associations e.g. trade unions, chambers of commerce and others. Each political party is also a political association.

Then, association like Arya Samaj, Sanatan Dharm Sabha, Jain Sabhas, Singh Sabhas are religious associations. A sangeet sabha, a literary society, a dramatic club are all cultural associations. Rotary clubs, Lion clubs, and the like are social service associations of people.

Main Points of Distinction between the State and Association:

1. State is the Sovereign organisation. Associations are Non-sovereign organsiations of people:

State possesses sovereignty. It has supreme power over the people. It can use force for securing compliance of the people to its laws and policies. All persons and groups living in the territory of a State accept the sovereignty of the State and obey its laws.

Any one refusing to do so is punished by the State, e. On the other hand, an association has no power to get its orders obeyed by force. It cannot use force against its members. If any member disobeys the rules of association, it can, at the most terminate the membership of the defaulting member.

2. The State has wider objectives and Association narrower:

The State has wider objectives while an association has a narrow and limited objective. The State maintains peace and order and along with it tries to promote economic, moral, cultural and social welfare of the people. State acts for the promotion of welfare of all its people. The scope of its functions is very vast.

As against it, every association is organised to serve a limited set of objectives. Some associations have just one objective. Further each association is concerned only with the promotion of the interests of its members. .

3. Citizenship of the State is Compulsory but membership of each Association is Voluntary:

The membership of the State is compulsory… Each person becomes the citizen of his State right at the time of his birth and remains so all his life. If he ceases to be the citizen of a State, he has to become a citizen of another State. On the other hand, the membership of an association is voluntary. No one can be forced to become a member of an association. Anyone can withdraw from the membership of an association at any time.

4. The State can impose Taxes, and not an Association. The State requires finances to run administration:

It collects revenue by imposing taxes upon the people. No person can refuse to pay the taxes imposed by the State. If any person fails to do so, the State can use force to collect the taxes. An association also requires finances to fulfill its objectives, but it cannot impose any tax for this purpose. An association can collect only membership fee or voluntary contributions. No association can use force for collecting its funds or subscriptions.

5. One person can become a member of only one State but of several Associations:

An individual can be, at one time a citizen of only one state. Normally he acquires this citizenship/membership by birth. . He cannot simultaneously become a citizen of any other State. If he desires to get a citizenship of another State, he has to leave the citizenship of his Parent State. However, any person can become a member of as many associations as he may deem fit.

At a time he can be a member of an entertainment club, a religious association, a trade union and a political party. He is not required to leave the membership of one association for becoming a member other associations.

6. State is essentially a sovereign territorial entity; an Association may or may not be territorial:

Territory is an essential element of every State. Each State has a definite and fixed territory, While State is the sovereign institution of all the people, an association is a voluntarily organised non-sovereign organisation which always remains and works under the laws of the State. Territory is not essential for an association. Associations are mostly non-territorial.

7. Only one State but many Associations can be there in one Territory:

Within a definite territory only one State can live. When the territory of a state gets divided in two parts, two separate States come into existence. Two States in a single territory are inconceivable. Against this, several associations simultaneously exist in one territory at any given time. In fact, there are a large number of associations continuously working within the territory of each State.

8. The State is the national community of its people while Associations can be local, regional, national or international:

The State has a national status. Each nation has a State. Associations can be local or national or regional and even international in organisation. Entertainment clubs are almost always local. The United Nations and International Red Cross Society are international associations.

9. The State is permanent and Associations are temporary:

The State is permanent whereas associations always come and go. The chief element of the State is its permanence. The objectives which a State seeks to fulfill are never-ending objectives. Associations are formed for the fulfillment of particular objectives. These stay as long as these continue to fulfill their objectives. These get dissolved after securing their objectives. Associations are often temporary. These can even get dissolved before accomplishing their objectives.

10. The State as sovereign state is Superior to all Associations:

The State is superior to all associations due to its sovereignty. Associations always function under the State. The State can regulate and control the functioning of every association existing in its territory. Every association always exists and works on the basis of the laws of the State.

Thus, there are several well-recognised differences between the State and an Association. State is the sovereign community of all the people who live in the territory of the state. An association is a non-sovereign organisation of only some people. It is specially organised for serving a particular need or some needs. Associations always work under the laws of their respective States.

Submitted by : Professor Amy, Category : Difference, Tag : Difference Between Articles