8 questions on "Multilevel politics - Subnational politics - Federal systems"
Federal systems are based on a compromise between unity and regional diversity, between the need for effective central power and the need for checks or constraints on that power.
- Administrative federalism: central government as the key policy-maker, and the provincial government is charged with responsibility for policy implementation.
- Dual federalism: federal and state/provincial government occupy separate and seemingly indestructible spheres of policy power.
- Fiscal federalism: federal balance is largely determined by funding arrangements, especially transfer payments from the centre to the periphery.
2) the existence of an external threat or a desire to play a more effective role in international affairs
3) geographical size
4) cultural and ethnic heterogenity
- The existence of an external threat, or a desire to play a more effective role in international affairs.
- Geographical size: geographically large states tend to be culturally diverse and often possess strong regional traditions (this creates greater pressure for decentralization and the dispersal of power.
- Cultural and ethnic heterogeneity: federalism has often been an institutional response to societal divisions and diversities.
2) a written constitution
3) a constitutional arbiter => the Supreme Court
4) linking constitutions => a shared parliament
- In diffusing government power, it creates a network of checks and balances that helps protect individual liberty (constraining national politicians).
--> However, structures intended to create healthy tension within a system of government may also generate frustration and paralysis. One of the weaknesses of federal systems is that, by constraining central authority, they make the implementation of bold economic or social programs more difficult.
- Federalism has provided an institutional mechanism through which fractured societies have maintained unity and coherence.
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