Federalism is the mixed or compound mode of government, combining a general government (the central or 'federal' government) with regional governments (provincial, state, cantonal, territorial or other sub-unit governments) in a single political system. Its distinctive feature, exemplified in the founding example of modern federalism by the United States of America under the Constitution of 1787, is a relationship of parity between the two levels of government established. It can thus be defined as a form of government in which there is a division of powers between two levels of government of equal status.
Federalism differs from confederalism, in which the general level of government is subordinate to the regional level, and from devolution within a unitary state, in which the regional level of government is subordinate to the general level. It represents the central form in the pathway of regional integration or separation, bounded on the less integrated side by confederalism and on the more integrated side by devolution within a unitary state.
Leading examples of the federation or federal state include India, the United States, Brazil, Mexico, Russia, Germany, Canada, Switzerland, Argentina, and Australia. Some also today characterize the European Union as the pioneering example of federalism in a multi-state setting, in a concept termed the federal union of states.
The terms 'federalism' and 'confederalism' both have a root in the Latin word foedus, meaning "treaty, pact or covenant." Their common meaning until the late eighteenth century was a simple league or inter-governmental relationship among sovereign states based upon a treaty. They were therefore initially synonyms. It was in this sense that James Madison in Federalist 39 had referred to the new US Constitution as 'neither a national nor a federal Constitution, but a composition of both' (i.e. neither constituting a single large unitary state nor a league/confederation among several small states, but a hybrid of the two). In the course of the nineteenth century the meaning of federalism would come to shift, strengthening to refer uniquely to the novel compound political form established, while the meaning of confederalism would remain at a league of states. Thus, this article relates to the modern usage of the word 'federalism'.
Modern federalism is a system based upon democratic rules and institutions in which the power to govern is shared between national and provincial/state governments. The term federalist describes several political beliefs around the world depending on context.
Federalism is sometimes viewed as in the context of international negotiation as "the best system for integrating diverse nations, ethnic groups, or combatant parties, all of whom may have cause to fear control by an overly powerful center." However, in some countries, those skeptical of federal prescriptions believe that increased regional autonomy is likely to lead to secession or dissolution of the nation. In Syria, federalization proposals have failed in part because "Syrians fear that these borders could turn out to be the same as the ones that the fighting parties have currently carved out."
According to Daniel Ziblatt's Structuring the State, there are four competing theoretical explanations in the academic literature for the adoption of federal systems:
Immanuel Kant was an advocate of federalism, noting that "the problem of setting up a state can be solved even by a nation of devils" so long as they possess an appropriate constitution which pits opposing factions against each other with a system of checks and balances. In particular individual states required a federation as a safeguard against the possibility of war.
In Europe, "Federalist" is sometimes used to describe those who favor a common federal government, with distributed power at regional, national and supranational levels. Most European federalists want this development to continue within the European Union. European federalism originated in post-war Europe; one of the more important initiatives was Winston Churchill's speech in Zürich in 1946.
In the United States, federalism originally referred to belief in a stronger central government. When the U.S. Constitution was being drafted, the Federalist Party supported a stronger central government, while "Anti-Federalists" wanted a weaker central government. This is very different from the modern usage of "federalism" in Europe and the United States. The distinction stems from the fact that "federalism" is situated in the middle of the political spectrum between a confederacy and a unitary state. The U.S. Constitution was written as a reaction to the Articles of Confederation, under which the United States was a loose confederation with a weak central government.
In contrast, Europe has a greater history of unitary states than North America, thus European "federalism" argues for a weaker central government, relative to a unitary state. The modern American usage of the word is much closer to the European sense. As the power of the Federal government has increased, some people have perceived a much more unitary state than they believe the Founding Fathers intended. Most people politically advocating "federalism" in the United States argue in favor of limiting the powers of the federal government, especially the judiciary (see Federalist Society, New Federalism).
Federalism may encompass as few as two or three internal divisions, as is the case in Belgium or Bosnia and Herzegovina. In general, two extremes of federalism can be distinguished: at one extreme, the strong federal state is almost completely unitary, with few powers reserved for local governments; while at the other extreme, the national government may be a federal state in name only, being a confederation in actuality.
In 1999, the Government of Canada established the Forum of Federations as an international network for exchange of best practices among federal and federalizing countries. Headquartered in Ottawa, the Forum of Federations partner governments include Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ethiopia, Germany, India, Mexico, Nigeria, and Switzerland.
On the 1st of January 1901 the nation-state of Australia officially came into existence as a federation. The Australian continent was colonised by the United Kingdom in 1788, which subsequently established six, eventually self-governing, colonies there. In the 1890s the governments of these colonies all held referendums on becoming the unified, self-governing "Commonwealth of Australia" within the British Empire. When all the colonies voted in favour of federation, the Federation of Australia commenced, resulting in the establishment of the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901. The model of Australian federalism adheres closely to the original model of the United States of America, although it does so through a parliamentary Westminster system rather than a presidential system.
In Brazil, the fall of the monarchy in 1889 by a military coup d'état led to the rise of the presidential system, headed by Deodoro da Fonseca. Aided by well-known jurist Ruy Barbosa, Fonseca established federalism in Brazil by decree, but this system of government would be confirmed by every Brazilian constitution since 1891, although some of them would distort some of the federalist principles. The 1937 federal government had the authority to appoint State Governors (called intervenors) at will, thus centralizing power in the hands of President Getúlio Vargas. Brazil also uses the Fonseca system to regulate interstate trade. Brazil is one of the biggest federal governments.
The Brazilian Constitution of 1988 introduced a new component to the ideas of federalism, including municipalities as federal entities. Brazilian municipalities are now invested with some of the traditional powers usually granted to states in federalism, and they are allowed to have a Constitution like the Constitution of Rio Grande do Sul State
In Canada the system of federalism is described by the division of powers between the federal parliament and the country's provincial governments. Under the Constitution Act (previously known as the British North America Act) of 1867, specific powers of legislation are allotted. Section 91 of the constitution gives rise to federal authority for legislation, whereas section 92 gives rise to provincial powers.
For matters not directly dealt with in the constitution, the federal government retains residual powers; however, conflict between the two levels of government, relating to which level has legislative jurisdiction over various matters, has been a longstanding and evolving issue. Areas of contest include legislation with respect to regulation of the economy, taxation, and natural resources.
The government of India is based on a 3 tiered system, in which the Constitution of India delineates the subjects on which each tier of government has executive powers. The Constitution originally provided for a two-tier system of government, the Union Government (also known as the Central Government), representing the Union of India, and the State governments. Later, a third tier was added in the form of Panchayats and Municipalities. In the current arrangement, The Seventh Schedule of the Indian Constitution delimits the subjects of each level of governmental jurisdiction, dividing them into three lists:
A distinguishing aspect of Indian federalism is that unlike many other forms of federalism, it is asymmetric. Article 370 makes special provisions for the state of Jammu and Kashmir as per its Instrument of Accession. Article 371 makes special provisions for the states of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim as per their accession or state-hood deals. Also one more aspect of Indian federalism is system of President's Rule in which the central government (through its appointed Governor) takes control of state's administration for certain months when no party can form a government in the state or there is violent disturbance in the state.
Although the Constitution does not say so, India is now a multilingual federation. India has a multi-party system, with political allegiances frequently based on linguistic, regional and caste identities, necessitating coalition politics, especially at the Union level. India was generally under two main group NDA and UPA
The Federal Republic of Nigeria has various states which have evolved over time due to complex socioeconomic issues as well as the effect of their colonial era. However, in modern Nigeria there are thirty six states and one federal capital territory: Abia, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Enugu, Edo, Ekiti, Gombe, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe, and Zamfara, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). There has been significant tension between the southern states and the northern states due to financial inequality, ethnic differences, religious conflict, and more. For example, religious conflict has led to the rise of Boko Haram, a violent Islamist militant group which practices salafi jihadism and wahhabism. In recent times, the Nigerian government has often been accused of being a northern-dominated government that seeks to exploit the south and benefit the north to the detriment of the south.
Pakistan is a democratic parliamentary federal republic, with Islam as the state religion. Powers are shared between the federal government and the provinces. Relations between federation and provinces is defined in Part V(Articles 141-159) of the constitution.
There are several levels of government in Pakistan:
(e.g. Rawalpindi Division)
(e.g. Jhelum District)
The District Coordination Officer is the administrative head of the District Administration. They have wide-ranging responsibility for overseeing, improving and directing the approved plans of the District Government.
The Zila Nazim used to be the executive head of the District Administration until 2010 when the government gave their powers to the District Coordination Officers also. Their role is similar to district governor or prefect, with responsibility for implementing government strategy and developing initiatives arising out of it.
In order to decentralize administrative and financial authority to be accountable to Local Governments, for good governance, effective delivery of services and transparent decision making through institutionalized participation of the people at grassroots level, elections to the local government institutions are held after every four years on none party basis by the Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan.
Among the three tiers of local government, Tesil government is second tier of it. It is where the functions, responsibilities and authorities of districts government is divided into more smaller units, these units are known as "Tehsil". The Tehsils are used in all over the Pakistan except Sindh province where the word "Taluka" is used instead, although the functions and authorities are same. The head of the Tehsil government is "Tehsil Nazim" who is assisted by the tehsil Naib-Nazim. Every tehsil has a Tehsil Municipal Administration, consisting of a Tehsil council, Tehsil Nazim, tehsil/taluka municipal officer(TMO), Chief officer and other officials of local council.
Members of Union Council including Union Administrator and Vice Union Administrator are elected through direct elections based on adult franchise and on the basis of joint electorate. However, for the election to the reserved seats for Women in Zila Council proportionately divided among Tehsils or Towns shall be all members of the Union Councils in a Tehsil or Town. It is the responsibility of the Chief Election Commissioner to organize and conduct these elections.
Although South Africa bears some elements of a federal system, such as the allocation of certain powers to provinces, it is nevertheless constitutionally and functionally a unitary state.
In Britain, an Imperial Federation was once seen as (inter alia) a method of solving the Home Rule problem in Ireland; federalism has long been proposed as a solution to the "Irish Problem", and more lately, to the "West Lothian question".
During the French Revolution, especially in 1793, "federalism" had an entirely different meaning. It was a political movement to weaken the central government in Paris by devolving power to the provinces.
Following the end of World War II, several movements began advocating a European federation, such as the Union of European Federalists and the European Movement, founded in 1948. Those organizations exercised influence in the European unification process, but never in a decisive way.
Although the drafts of both the Maastricht treaty and the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe mentioned federalism, the reference never made it to the text of the treaties adopted by consensus. The strongest advocates of European federalism have been Germany, Italy, Belgium and Luxembourg while those historically most strongly opposed have been the United Kingdom, Denmark and France (with conservative heads of state and governments). Since the presidency of François Mitterrand (1981-1995), the French authorities have adopted a much more pro-European Unification position, as they consider that a strong EU is presenting the best "insurance" against a unified Germany which might become too strong and thus a threat for its neighbours.
Those uncomfortable using the “F” word in the EU context should feel free to refer to it as a quasi-federal or federal-like system. Nevertheless, for the purposes of the analysis here, the EU has the necessary attributes of a federal system. It is striking that while many scholars of the EU continue to resist analyzing it as a federation, most contemporary students of federalism view the EU as a federal system (See for instance, Bednar, Filippov et al., McKay, Kelemen, Defigueido and Weingast). (R. Daniel Kelemen)
Germany and the EU present the only examples of federalism in the world where members of the federal "upper houses" (the German Bundesrat (Federal Council) and the European Council) are neither elected nor appointed but comprise members or delegates of the governments of their constituents. The United States had a similar system until 1913, where prior to the 17th Amendment, Senators were delegates of the state elected by the state legislatures rather than the citizens.
Already the Holy Roman Empire, the Confederation of the Rhine, the German Confederation, the North German Confederation, the German Empire and the Weimar Republic were federal complexes of territories of different political structures. Modern Germany abandoned federalism only during Nazism (1933–1945, only de facto but not de jure) and in the German Democratic Republic (1952–1990). Adolf Hitler viewed federalism as an obstacle to his goals. As he wrote in Mein Kampf, "National Socialism must claim the right to impose its principles on the whole German nation, without regard to what were hitherto the confines of federal states."
Accordingly, the idea of a strong, centralized government has very negative connotations in German politics, although the progressive political movements in Germany (Liberals, Social Democrats) were advocating at the time of the Second German Empire (1871-1918) to abolish (or to reshape) the majority of German federated states of that era, as they were considered to be mostly monarchist remnances of the feudal structures of the Middle Ages.
The post-Imperial nature of Russian subdivision of government changed towards a generally autonomous model which began with the establishment of the USSR (of which Russia was governed as part). It was liberalized in the aftermath of the Soviet Union, with the reforms under Boris Yeltsin preserving much of the Soviet structure while applying increasingly liberal reforms to the governance of the constituent republics and subjects (while also coming into conflict with Chechen secessionist rebels during the Chechen War). Some of the reforms under Yeltsin were scaled back by Vladimir Putin.
All of Russia's subdivisional entities are known as subjects, with some smaller entities, such as the republics enjoying more autonomy than other subjects on account of having an extant presence of a culturally non-Russian ethnic minority or, in some cases, majority.
Currently, there are 85 federal subjects of Russia.
The UAE is a federal absolute monarchy of the six ruling families of the United Arab Emirates with Emir of each Emirate being an absolute monarch and the Emir of Abu Dhabi being also the President of the UAE.
Federalism in the United States is the evolving relationship between state governments and the federal government of the United States. American government has evolved from a system of dual federalism to one of associative federalism. In "Federalist No. 46," James Madison asserted that the states and national government "are in fact but different agents and trustees of the people, constituted with different powers." Alexander Hamilton, writing in "Federalist No. 28," suggested that both levels of government would exercise authority to the citizens' benefit: "If their [the peoples'] rights are invaded by either, they can make use of the other as the instrument of redress." (1)
Because the states were preexisting political entities, the U.S. Constitution did not need to define or explain federalism in any one section but it often mentions the rights and responsibilities of state governments and state officials in relation to the federal government. The federal government has certain express powers (also called enumerated powers) which are powers spelled out in the Constitution, including the right to levy taxes, declare war, and regulate interstate and foreign commerce. In addition, the Necessary and Proper Clause gives the federal government the implied power to pass any law "necessary and proper" for the execution of its express powers. Other powers—the reserved powers—are reserved to the people or the states. The power delegated to the federal government was significantly expanded by the Supreme Court decision in McCulloch v. Maryland (1819), amendments to the Constitution following the Civil War, and by some later amendments—as well as the overall claim of the Civil War, that the states were legally subject to the final dictates of the federal government.
The Federalist Party of the United States was opposed by the Democratic-Republicans, including powerful figures such as Thomas Jefferson. The Democratic-Republicans mainly believed that: the Legislature had too much power (mainly because of the Necessary and Proper Clause) and that they were unchecked; the Executive had too much power, and that there was no check on the executive; a dictator would arise; and that a bill of rights should be coupled with the constitution to prevent a potential dictator from exploiting or tyrannizing citizens. The federalists, on the other hand, argued that it was impossible to list all the rights, and those that were not listed could be easily overlooked because they were not in the official bill of rights. Rather, rights in specific cases were to be decided by the judicial system of courts.
After the American Civil War, the federal government increased greatly in influence on everyday life and in size relative to the state governments. Reasons included the need to regulate businesses and industries that span state borders, attempts to secure civil rights, and the provision of social services. The federal government acquired no substantial new powers until the acceptance by the Supreme Court of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act.
From 1938 until 1995, the U.S. Supreme Court did not invalidate any federal statute as exceeding Congress' power under the Commerce Clause. Most actions by the federal government can find some legal support among the express powers, such as the Commerce Clause, whose applicability has been narrowed by the Supreme Court in recent years. In 1995 the Supreme Court rejected the Gun-Free School Zones Act in the Lopez decision, and also rejected the civil remedy portion of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 in the United States v. Morrison decision. Recently, the Commerce Clause was interpreted to include marijuana laws in the Gonzales v. Raich decision.
Dual federalism holds that the federal government and the state governments are co-equals, each sovereign.
However, since the Civil War Era, the national courts often interpret the federal government as the final judge of its own powers under dual federalism. The establishment of Native American governments (which are separate and distinct from state and federal government) exercising limited powers of sovereignty, has given rise to the concept of "bi-federalism."
The Federal War ended in 1863 with the signing of the Treaty of Coche by both the centralist government of the time and the Federal Forces. The United States of Venezuela were subsequently incorporated under a "Federation of Sovereign States" upon principles borrowed from the Articles of Confederation of the United States of America. In this Federation, each State had a "President" of its own that controlled almost every issue, even the creation of "State Armies," while the Federal Army was required to obtain presidential permission to enter any given state.
However, more than 140 years later, the original system has gradually evolved into a quasi-centralist form of government. While the 1999 Constitution still defines Venezuela as a Federal Republic, it abolished the Senate, transferred competences of the States to the Federal Government and granted the President of the Republic vast powers to intervene in the States and Municipalities.
Federalism in the Kingdom of Belgium is an evolving system.
Belgian federalism is a twin system which reflects both the
On one hand, this means that the Belgian political landscape, generally speaking, consists of only two components: the Dutch-speaking population represented by Dutch-language political parties, and the majority populations of Wallonia and Brussels, represented by their French-speaking parties. The Brussels region emerges as a third component. This specific dual form of federalism, with the special position of Brussels, consequently has a number of political issues—even minor ones—that are being fought out over the Dutch/French-language political division. With such issues, a final decision is possible only in the form of a compromise. This tendency gives this dual federalism model a number of traits that generally are ascribed to confederalism, and makes the future of Belgian federalism contentious.
On the other hand, Belgian federalism is federated with three components. An affirmative resolution concerning Brussels' place in the federal system passed in the parliaments of Wallonia and Brussels. These resolutions passed against the desires of Dutch-speaking parties, who are generally in favour of a federal system with two components (i.e. the Dutch and French Communities of Belgium). However, the Flemish representatives in the Parliament of the Brussels Capital-Region voted in favour of the Brussels resolution, with the exception of one party. The chairman of the Walloon Parliament stated on July 17, 2008 that, "Brussels would take an attitude". Brussels' parliament passed the resolution on July 18, 2008:
This aspect of Belgian federalism helps to explain the difficulties of partition; Brussels, with its importance, is linked to both Wallonia and Flanders and vice versa. This situation, however, does not erase the traits of a confederation in the Belgian system.
Current examples of two-sided federalism:
Historical examples of two-sided federalism include:
It has been proposed in several unitary states to establish a federal system, for various reasons.
China is the largest unitary state in the world by both population and land area. Although China has had long periods of central rule for centuries, it is often argued that the unitary structure of the Chinese government is far too unwieldy to effectively and equitably manage the country's affairs. On the other hand, Chinese nationalists are suspicious of decentralization as a form of secessionism and a backdoor for national disunity; still others argue that the degree of autonomy given to provincial-level officials in the People's Republic of China amounts to a de facto federalism.
Shortly after the 2011 civil war, some people in Cyrenaica (in the eastern region of the country) began to call for the new regime to be federal, with the traditional three regions of Libya (Cyrenaica, Tripolitania, and Fezzan) being the constituent units. A group calling itself the "Cyrenaican Transitional Council" issued a declaration of autonomy on 6 March 2012; this move was rejected by the National Transitional Council in Tripoli.
The changes in the state structure that composes the national government in Naypyitaw and the state/regional governments and the federal negotiations between the national government and ethnic minority armed forces said to be the first step of federalism in Myanmar. Former president of Myanmar, Thein Sein supported the federalization of Myanmar as he said federalization can promote national stability.
The Philippines is a unitary state with some powers devolved to Local Government Units (LGUs) under the terms of the Local Government Code. There is also one autonomous region, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. Over the years various modifications have been proposed to the Constitution of the Philippines, including possible transition to a federal system as part of a shift to a semi-presidential system. In 2004, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo established the Consultative Commission which suggested such a Charter Change but no action was taken by the Philippine Congress to amend the 1987 Constitution. The push for federalism was again revived under the administration of Rodrigo Duterte in 2016.
Spain is a unitary state with a high level of decentralisation, often regarded as a federal system in all but name or a "federation without federalism". The country has been quoted as being "an extraordinarily decentralized country", with the central government accounting for just 18% of public spending, 38% for the regional governments, 13% for the local councils, and the remaining 31% for the social security system. The current Spanish constitution has been implemented in such a way that, in many respects, Spain can be compared to countries which are undeniably federal.
However, in order to manage the tensions present in the Spanish transition to democracy, the drafters of the current Spanish constitution avoided giving labels such as 'federal' to the territorial arrangements. Besides, unlike in the federal system, the main taxes are taken centrally from Madrid (except for the Basque Country and Navarre, which were recognized in the Spanish democratic constitution as charter territories drawing from historical reasons) and then distributed to the Autonomous Communities.
An explicit and legal recognition of federalism as such has been promoted by parties such as Podemos, United Left and the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party. The Spanish Socialist party considered the idea of enshrining a federal Spain in 2012, as meeting point between separatist and recentralizing proposals.
The United Kingdom has traditionally been governed as a unitary state by the Westminster Parliament in London. Instead of adopting a federal model, the UK has relied on gradual devolution to decentralise political power. Devolution in the UK began with the Government of Ireland Act 1914 which granted home rule to Ireland as a constituent country of the former United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland in 1921 which saw the creation of the sovereign Irish Free State (which eventually evolved into the modern day Republic of Ireland), Northern Ireland retained its devolved government through the Parliament of Northern Ireland, the only part of the UK to have such a body at this time. This body was suspended in 1972 and Northern Ireland was governed by direct rule during the period of conflict known as The Troubles.
In modern times, a process of devolution in the United Kingdom has decentralised power once again. Since the 1997 referendums in Scotland and Wales and the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland, three of the four constituent countries of the UK now have some level of autonomy. Government has been devolved to the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales and the Northern Ireland Assembly. England does not have its own parliament and English affairs continue to be decided by the Westminster Parliament. In 1998 a set of eight unelected Regional assemblies, or chambers, was created to support the English Regional Development Agencies, but these were abolished between 2008 and 2010. The Regions of England continue to be used in certain governmental administrative functions.
Critics of devolution often cite the West Lothian question, which refers to the voting power of non-English MPs on matters affecting only England in the UK Parliament. Scottish and Welsh nationalism have been increasing in popularity, and since the Scottish independence referendum, 2014 there has been a wider debate about the UK adopting a federal system with each of the four home nations having its own, equal devolved legislatures and law-making powers.
UK federal government was proposed as early as 1912 by the Member of Parliament for Dundee, Winston Churchill, in the context of the legislation for Irish Home Rule. In a speech in Dundee on 12 September, he proposed that England should also be governed by regional parliaments, with power devolved to areas such as Lancashire, Yorkshire, the Midlands and London as part of a federal system of government.
Anarchists are against the State but are not against political organization or "governance"—so long as it is self-governance utilizing direct democracy. The mode of political organization preferred by anarchists, in general, is federalism or confederalism. However, the anarchist definition of federalism tends to differ from the definition of federalism assumed by pro-state political scientists. The following is a brief description of federalism from section I.5 of An Anarchist FAQ:
Federalism also finds expression in ecclesiology (the doctrine of the church). For example, presbyterian church governance resembles parliamentary republicanism (a form of political federalism) to a large extent. In Presbyterian denominations, the local church is ruled by elected elders, some of which are ministerial. Each church then sends representatives or commissioners to presbyteries and further to a general assembly. Each greater level of assembly has ruling authority over its constituent members. In this governmental structure, each component has some level of sovereignty over itself. As in political federalism, in presbyterian ecclesiology there is shared sovereignty.
Some Christians argue that the earliest source of political federalism (or federalism in human institutions; in contrast to theological federalism) is the ecclesiastical federalism found in the Bible. They point to the structure of the early Christian Church as described (and prescribed, as believed by many) in the New Testament. In their arguments, this is particularly demonstrated in the Council of Jerusalem, described in Acts chapter 15, where the Apostles and elders gathered together to govern the Church; the Apostles being representatives of the universal Church, and elders being such for the local church. To this day, elements of federalism can be found in almost every Christian denomination, some more than others.
In a federation, the division of power between federal and regional governments is usually outlined in the constitution. Almost every country allows some degree of regional self-government, in federations the right to self-government of the component states is constitutionally entrenched. Component states often also possess their own constitutions which they may amend as they see fit, although in the event of conflict the federal constitution usually takes precedence.
In almost all federations the central government enjoys the powers of foreign policy and national defense as exclusive federal powers. Were this not the case a federation would not be a single sovereign state, per the UN definition. Notably, the states of Germany retain the right to act on their own behalf at an international level, a condition originally granted in exchange for the Kingdom of Bavaria's agreement to join the German Empire in 1871. Beyond this the precise division of power varies from one nation to another. The constitutions of Germany and the United States provide that all powers not specifically granted to the federal government are retained by the states. The Constitution of some countries like Canada and India, on the other hand, state that powers not explicitly granted to the provincial governments are retained by the federal government. Much like the US system, the Australian Constitution allocates to the Federal government (the Commonwealth of Australia) the power to make laws about certain specified matters which were considered too difficult for the States to manage, so that the States retain all other areas of responsibility. Under the division of powers of the European Union in the Lisbon Treaty, powers which are not either exclusively of European competence or shared between EU and state as concurrent powers are retained by the constituent states.
Where every component state of a federation possesses the same powers, we are said to find 'symmetric federalism'. Asymmetric federalism exists where states are granted different powers, or some possess greater autonomy than others do. This is often done in recognition of the existence of a distinct culture in a particular region or regions. In Spain, the Basques and Catalans, as well as the Galicians, spearheaded a historic movement to have their national specificity recognized, crystallizing in the "historical communities" such as Navarre, Galicia, Catalonia, and the Basque Country. They have more powers than the later expanded arrangement for other Spanish regions, or the Spain of the autonomous communities (called also the "coffee for everyone" arrangement), partly to deal with their separate identity and to appease peripheral nationalist leanings, partly out of respect to specific rights they had held earlier in history. However, strictly speaking Spain is not a federalism, but a decentralized administrative organization of the state.
It is common that during the historical evolution of a federation there is a gradual movement of power from the component states to the centre, as the federal government acquires additional powers, sometimes to deal with unforeseen circumstances. The acquisition of new powers by a federal government may occur through formal constitutional amendment or simply through a broadening of the interpretation of a government's existing constitutional powers given by the courts.
Usually, a federation is formed at two levels: the central government and the regions (states, provinces, territories), and little to nothing is said about second or third level administrative political entities. Brazil is an exception, because the 1988 Constitution included the municipalities as autonomous political entities making the federation tripartite, encompassing the Union, the States, and the municipalities. Each state is divided into municipalities (municípios) with their own legislative council (câmara de vereadores) and a mayor (prefeito), which are partly autonomous from both Federal and State Government. Each municipality has a "little constitution", called "organic law" (lei orgânica). Mexico is an intermediate case, in that municipalities are granted full-autonomy by the federal constitution and their existence as autonomous entities (municipio libre, "free municipality") is established by the federal government and cannot be revoked by the states' constitutions. Moreover, the federal constitution determines which powers and competencies belong exclusively to the municipalities and not to the constituent states. However, municipalities do not have an elected legislative assembly.
Federations often employ the paradox of being a union of states, while still being states (or having aspects of statehood) in themselves. For example, James Madison (author of the US Constitution) wrote in Federalist Paper No. 39 that the US Constitution "is in strictness neither a national nor a federal constitution; but a composition of both. In its foundation, it is federal, not national; in the sources from which the ordinary powers of the Government are drawn, it is partly federal, and partly national..." This stems from the fact that states in the US maintain all sovereignty that they do not yield to the federation by their own consent. This was reaffirmed by the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which reserves all powers and rights that are not delegated to the Federal Government as left to the States and to the people.
The structures of most federal governments incorporate mechanisms to protect the rights of component states. One method, known as 'intrastate federalism', is to directly represent the governments of component states in federal political institutions. Where a federation has a bicameral legislature the upper house is often used to represent the component states while the lower house represents the people of the nation as a whole. A federal upper house may be based on a special scheme of apportionment, as is the case in the senates of the United States and Australia, where each state is represented by an equal number of senators irrespective of the size of its population.
Alternatively, or in addition to this practice, the members of an upper house may be indirectly elected by the government or legislature of the component states, as occurred in the United States prior to 1913, or be actual members or delegates of the state governments, as, for example, is the case in the German Bundesrat and in the Council of the European Union. The lower house of a federal legislature is usually directly elected, with apportionment in proportion to population, although states may sometimes still be guaranteed a certain minimum number of seats.
In Canada, the provincial governments represent regional interests and negotiate directly with the central government. A First Ministers conference of the prime minister and the provincial premiers is the de facto highest political forum in the land, although it is not mentioned in the constitution.
Federations often have special procedures for amendment of the federal constitution. As well as reflecting the federal structure of the state this may guarantee that the self-governing status of the component states cannot be abolished without their consent. An amendment to the constitution of the United States must be ratified by three-quarters of either the state legislatures, or of constitutional conventions specially elected in each of the states, before it can come into effect. In referendums to amend the constitutions of Australia and Switzerland it is required that a proposal be endorsed not just by an overall majority of the electorate in the nation as a whole, but also by separate majorities in each of a majority of the states or cantons. In Australia, this latter requirement is known as a double majority.
Some federal constitutions also provide that certain constitutional amendments cannot occur without the unanimous consent of all states or of a particular state. The US constitution provides that no state may be deprived of equal representation in the senate without its consent. In Australia, if a proposed amendment will specifically impact one or more states, then it must be endorsed in the referendum held in each of those states. Any amendment to the Canadian constitution that would modify the role of the monarchy would require unanimous consent of the provinces. The German Basic Law provides that no amendment is admissible at all that would abolish the federal system.
The meaning of federalism, as a political movement, and of what constitutes a 'federalist', varies with country and historical context. Movements associated with the establishment or development of federations can exhibit either centralising or decentralising trends. For example, at the time those nations were being established, factions known as "federalists" in the United States and Australia advocated the formation of strong central government. Similarly, in European Union politics, federalists mostly seek greater EU integration. In contrast, in Spain and in post-war Germany, federal movements have sought decentralisation: the transfer of power from central authorities to local units. In Canada, where Quebec separatism has been a political force for several decades, the "federalist" impulse aims to keep Quebec inside Canada.
Federalism, and other forms of territorial autonomy, is generally seen as a useful way to structure political systems in order to prevent violence among different groups within countries because it allows certain groups to legislate at the subnational level. Some scholars have suggested, however, that federalism can divide countries and result in state collapse because it creates proto-states. Still others have shown that federalism is only divisive when it lacks mechanisms that encourage political parties to compete across regional boundaries.
After careful research and analysis of various sources and the constitution, it can be confirmed that the government system in the Republic of South Africa is a unitary system. Observance of the government in action as well as analysis of the constitution has contributed to this confirmation. Despite the delocalisation enjoyed within the republic, the federal principle is not evident enough and it failed Wheare’s very simple federal test right in the beginning
Anti-Federalism was a late-18th century movement that opposed the creation of a stronger U.S. federal government and which later opposed the ratification of the 1787 Constitution. The previous constitution, called the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, gave state governments more authority. Led by Patrick Henry of Virginia, Anti-Federalists worried, among other things, that the position of president, then a novelty, might evolve into a monarchy. Though the Constitution was ratified and supplanted the Articles of Confederation, Anti-Federalist influence helped lead to the passage of the United States Bill of Rights.Autonomous communities of Spain
In Spain, an autonomous community (Spanish: comunidad autónoma) is a first-level political and administrative division, created in accordance with the Spanish constitution of 1978, with the aim of guaranteeing limited autonomy of the nationalities and regions that make up Spain.Spain is not a federation, but a highly decentralized unitary state. While sovereignty is vested in the nation as a whole, represented in the central institutions of government, the nation has, in variable degrees, devolved power to the communities, which, in turn, exercise their right to self-government within the limits set forth in the constitution and their autonomous statutes. Each community has its own set of devolved powers; typically those communities with a stronger local nationalism have more powers; this type of devolution has been called asymmetrical. Some scholars have referred to the resulting system as a federal system in all but name, or a "federation without federalism".
There are 17 autonomous communities and two autonomous cities that are collectively known as "autonomies". The two autonomous cities have the right to become autonomous communities, but neither has yet exercised it. This unique framework of territorial administration is known as the "State of Autonomies".The autonomous communities are governed according to the constitution and their own organic laws known as Statutes of Autonomy, which contain all the competences that they assume. Since devolution was intended to be asymmetrical in nature, the scope of competences vary for each community, but all have the same parliamentary structure.Canadian federalism
Canadian federalism (French: fédéralisme canadien) involves the current nature and historical development of federal systems in Canada.
Canada is a federation with 11 jurisdictions of governmental authority: the country-wide federal Crown and 10 provincial Crowns. Each derives its authority from the Canadian Crown and includes the Queen-in-Parliament, the Queen-in-Council, and the Queen's Bench. Three territorial governments in the far north exercise powers delegated by the federal parliament, and municipal governments exercise powers delegated by the province or territory. Each jurisdiction is generally independent from the others in its realm of legislative authority. Most sectors are under federal jurisdiction (such as foreign affairs and telecommunications) or that of the provinces, such as education and healthcare.
The division of powers was laid out in the British North America Act of 1867 (now the Constitution Act, 1867), a key document in the Constitution of Canada. Amendments were made to the Acts of North America and the Constitution Act, 1982.
The federal nature of the Canadian constitution was a response to the colonial-era diversity of the Maritimes and the Province of Canada, particularly the sharp distinction between the French-speaking inhabitants of Lower Canada and the English-speaking inhabitants of Upper Canada and the Maritimes. John A. Macdonald, Canada's first prime minister, originally favoured a unitary system; later, after witnessing the carnage of the American Civil War, he supported a federal system to avoid similar violent conflicts.Concurrent powers
Concurrent powers are powers of a federal system of government shared by both the federal government and each constituent political unit (such as a state or province). These powers may be exercised simultaneously within the same territory, in relation to the same body of citizens, and regarding the same subject-matter. Concurrent powers are contrasted with reserved powers (not possessed by the federal government) and with exclusive federal powers (possession by the states is forbidden or requires federal permission).Federal law is supreme, and therefore it may preempt to a state or provincial law in case of conflict. Concurrent powers can therefore be divided into two kinds: those not generally subject to federal preemption (like the power to tax private citizens); and, other concurrent powers.In the United States, examples of the concurrent powers shared by both the federal and state governments include the power to tax, build roads, establish bankruptcy laws, and to create lower courts.Cooperative federalism (economics)
Cooperative federalism is a school of thought in the field of cooperative economics. Historically, its proponents have included J.T.W. Mitchell, Charles Gide, Paul Lambert, and Beatrice Webb (who coined the term in her book The Co-operative Movement in Great Britain). Many cooperative federations do not endorse cooperative federalism.Federal district
A federal district is a type of administrative division of a federation, usually under the direct control of a federal government and organized sometimes with a single municipal body. Federal districts often include capital districts, and they exist in various countries worldwide.Federal districts of Russia
The federal districts (Russian: федера́льные округа́, federalnyye okruga) are groupings of the federal subjects of Russia. Federal districts are not provisioned by the Constitution of Russia and are not the constituent units of the country, but exist purely for the convenience of governing and operation by federal government agencies. Each district includes several federal subjects and each federal district has a presidential envoy titled a Plenipotentiary Representative of the President of the Russian Federation in a Federal District.
The federal districts and positions of Plenipotentiary Representatives were originally created in 2000 by Presidential Decree "to ensure implementation of the President of the Russian Federation of its constitutional powers". Plenipotentiary Representatives are appointed by the President and are employees of the Presidential Administration.Federal republic
A federal republic is a federation of states with a republican form of government. At its core, the literal meaning of the word republic when used to reference a form of government means: "a country that is governed by elected representatives and by an elected leader (such as a president) rather than by a king or queen".
In a federal republic, there is a division of powers between the federal government, and the government of the individual subdivisions. While each federal republic manages this division of powers differently, common matters relating to security and defence, and monetary policy are usually handled at the federal level, while matters such as infrastructure maintenance and education policy are usually handled at the regional or local level. However, views differ on what issues should be a federal competence, and subdivisions usually have sovereignty in some matters where the federal government does not have jurisdiction. A federal republic is thus best defined in contrast to a unitary republic, whereby the central government has complete sovereignty over all aspects of political life. This more decentralized structure helps to explain the tendency for more populous countries to operate as federal republics. Most federal republics codify the division of powers between orders of government in a written constitutional document.
The political differences between a federal republic and other federal states, especially federal monarchies under a parliamentary system of government, are largely a matter of legal form rather than political substance, as most federal states are democratic in structure if not practice with checks and balances. However, some federal monarchies, such as the United Arab Emirates are based upon principles other than democracy.Federal subjects of Russia
The federal subjects of Russia, also referred to as the subjects of the Russian Federation (Russian: субъекты Российской Федерации, subyekty Rossiyskoy Federatsii) or simply as the subjects of the federation (Russian: субъекты федерации subyekty federatsii), are the constituent entities of Russia, its top-level political divisions according to the Constitution of Russia. Since March 18, 2014, the Russian Federation constitutionally has consisted of 85 federal subjects, although the two most recently added subjects are recognized by most states as part of Ukraine.According to the Russian Constitution, the Russian Federation consists of republics, krais, oblasts, cities of federal importance, an autonomous oblast and autonomous okrugs, all of which are equal subjects of the Russian Federation. Three Russian cities of federal importance (Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and Sevastopol) have a status of both city and separate federal subject which comprises other cities and towns (Zelenograd, Troitsk, Kronstadt, Kolpino, etc.) within each federal city—keeping older structures of postal addresses. In 1993 the Russian Federation comprised 89 federal subjects. By 2008 the number of federal subjects had decreased to 83 because of several mergers. In 2014 Sevastopol and the Republic of Crimea became the 84th and 85th federal subjects of Russia.
Every federal subject has its own head, a parliament, and a constitutional court. Each federal subject has its own constitution and legislation. Subjects have equal rights in relations with federal government bodies. The federal subjects have equal representation—two delegates each—in the Federation Council, the upper house of the Federal Assembly. They do, however, differ in the degree of autonomy they enjoy (asymmetric federalism).
Post-Soviet Russia formed during the history of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic within the USSR and didn't change at the time of the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. In 1992 during so-called "parade of sovereignties", separatist sentiments and the War of Laws within Russia, the Russian regions signed the Federation Treaty (Russian: Федеративный договор Federativny Dogovor), establishing and regulating the current inner composition of Russia, based on the division of authorities and powers among Russian government bodies and government bodies of constituent entities. The Federation Treaty was included in the text of the 1978 Constitution of the Russian SFSR. The current Constitution of Russia, adopted by national referendum on 12 December 1993, came into force on December 25, 1993 and abolished the model of the Soviet system of government introduced in 1918 by Vladimir Lenin and based on the right to secede from the country and on unlimited sovereignty of federal subjects (in practice it was never allowed), which conflicts with country's integrity and federal laws. The new constitution eliminated a number of legal conflicts, reserved the rights of the regions, introduced local self-government and didn't grant the Soviet-era right to secede from the country. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the political system became de jure closer to other modern federal states with a republican form of government in the world. In the 2000s, following the policy of Vladimir Putin and of the United Russia party (dominant party in all federal subjects), the Russian parliament changed the distribution of tax revenues, reduced the number of elections in the regions and gave more power to the federal authorities.
There are several groupings of Russian regions:
Federal subjects should not be confused with the eight federal districts which are not subdivisions of Russia — the federal districts are much larger and each encompasses many federal subjects. Federal districts were created by Executive Order of the President of Russia especially for presidential envoys.
Time zones are defined by the Order of the federal government.
The composition of judicial districts is defined by the federal law "On arbitration courts".
Economic regions are administered by the Ministry of Economic Development.
The Ministry of Defense uses the terminology of Military districts.Federalisation of the European Union
Federalisation of the European Union is the institutional process by which the European Union (EU) is transformed from a confederation (a union of sovereign states) towards a federation (a single federal state with a central government, consisting of a number of partially self-governing federated states). There is ongoing discussion about the extent to which the EU has already become a federation over the course of decades, and more importantly, to what degree it should continue to evolve into a federalist direction.
Since the 1950s, European integration has seen the development of a supranational system of governance, as its institutions move further from the concept of simple intergovernmentalism and more towards a federalised system. However, with the Maastricht Treaty of 1992, new intergovernmental elements have been introduced alongside the more federal systems, making it more difficult to define the European Union (the EU). The European Union, which operates through a hybrid system of intergovernmentalism and supranationalism, is not officially a federation – though various academic observers regard it as having the characteristics of a federal system.Federalism in India
Federalism in India describes the distribution of legal authority across national, state and local governments in India.
The Constitution of India establishes a federal structure to the Indian government, declaring it to be a "Union of States". Part XI of the Indian constitution specifies the distribution of legislative, administrative and executive powers between the Union/Federal/Central government and the States of India. The legislative powers are categorised under a Union List, a State List and a Concurrent List, representing, respectively, the powers conferred upon the Union government, those conferred upon the State governments and powers shared among them.
This federalism is asymmetric in that the devolved powers of the constituent units are not all the same. The state of Jammu and Kashmir was accorded a higher degree of autonomy than other States under Article 370. Union Territories are unitary type, directly governed by the Union government. Article 1 (1) of the constitution stipulates two tier-governance with an additional local elected government. Delhi and Puducherry were accorded legislatures under Article 239AA and 239A, respectively.
The fundamental rights of citizens vary by state per Article 31 (B), as changes are added to Constitution schedule IX by constitutional amendments.Federalism in Pakistan
Pakistan is a Federal Republic, with powers shared between the Federal government and the provinces. Relations between federation and provinces is defined in Part V(Articles 141-159) of the constitution.Federalism in South Africa
In 1949 the historian Arthur Keppel-Jones wrote Friends or Foes? A point of view and a programme for racial harmony in South Africa, which claimed that devolution into federalist states would promote harmonious relations between the different population groups of South Africa. Several decades later, in 1974, the Mahlabatini Declaration of Faith, which stressed the federal concept, was signed. In 1977 the Progressive Federal Party was started, which advocated power-sharing through a federal constitution.Federalism in the United States
Federalism in the United States is the constitutional division of power between U.S. state governments and the federal government of the United States. Since the founding of the country, and particularly with the end of the American Civil War, power shifted away from the states and towards the national government. The progression of federalism includes dual, state-centered, and new federalism.Federalist
The term federalist describes several political beliefs around the world. Also, it may refer to the concept of parties; its members or supporters called themselves Federalists.Federation
A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity characterized by a union of partially self-governing provinces, states, or other regions under a central federal government (federalism). In a federation, the self-governing status of the component states, as well as the division of power between them and the central government, is typically constitutionally entrenched and may not be altered by a unilateral decision of either party, the states or the federal political body. Alternatively, federation is a form of government in which sovereign power is formally divided between a central authority and a number of constituent regions so that each region retains some degree of control over its internal affairs. It is often argued that federal states where the central government has the constitutional authority to suspend a constituent state's government by invoking gross mismanagement or civil unrest, or to adopt national legislation that overrides or infringe on the constituent states' powers by invoking the central government's constitutional authority to ensure "peace and good government" or to implement obligations contracted under an international treaty, are not truly federal states.
The governmental or constitutional structure found in a federation is considered to be federalist, or to be an example of federalism. It can be considered the opposite of another system, the unitary state. France, for example, has been unitary for multiple centuries. Austria and its Bundesländer was a unitary state with administrative divisions that became federated through the implementation of the Austrian Constitution following the 1918 collapse of Austria-Hungary. Germany, with its 16 states, or Bundesländer, is an example of a federation. Federations are often multiethnic and cover a large area of territory (such as Russia, the United States, Canada, India, or Brazil), but neither is necessarily the case.
Several ancient chiefdoms and kingdoms, such as the 4th-century BCE League of Corinth, Noricum in Central Europe, and the Haudenosaunee Confederation in pre-Columbian North America, could be described as federations or confederations. The Old Swiss Confederacy was an early example of formal non-unitary statehood.
Several colonies and dominions in the New World consisted of autonomous provinces, transformed to federal states upon independence (see Spanish American wars of independence). The oldest continuous federation, and a role model for many subsequent federations, is the United States. Some of the New World federations failed; the Federal Republic of Central America broke up into independent states less than 20 years after its founding. Others, such as Argentina and Mexico, have shifted between federal, confederal, and unitary systems, before settling into federalism. Brazil became a federation only after the fall of the monarchy, and Venezuela became a federation after the Federal War. Australia and Canada are also federations.
Germany is another nation-state that has switched between confederal, federal and unitary rules, since the German Confederation was founded in 1815. The North German Confederation, the succeeding German Empire and the Weimar Republic were federations.
Founded in 1922, the Soviet Union was formally a federation of Soviet republics, autonomous republics and other federal subjects, though in practice highly centralized under the government of the Soviet Union. The Russian Federation has inherited a similar system.
Nigeria, Pakistan, India and Malaysia (then Federation of Malaya) became federations on or shortly before becoming independent from the British Empire.
In some recent cases, federations have been instituted as a measure to handle ethnic conflict within a state, such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Iraq since 2005.
With the United States Constitution having become effective on 4 March 1789, the United States is the oldest surviving federation. On the other end of the timeline is Nepal, which became the newest federation after its constitution went into effect on 20 September 2015.Instituto Nacional para el Federalismo y el Desarrollo Municipal
The Instituto Nacional para el Federalismo y el Desarrollo Municipal (National Institute for Federalism and Municipal Development, better known by the acronym INAFED) is a decentralised agency of the Mexican federal government. It has responsibility for promoting the ideals of federalism between the several levels of government in Mexico, by acting to coordinate and implement policies, programmes and services that are designed to strengthen inter-governmental relations between the federal and "subsidiary" levels of governance at the state and municipal levels.
The agency comes under the overall responsibility of the Secretaría de Gobernación (SEGOB), the Secretariat of the Interior, the government department responsible for administering the country's internal affairs.
INAFED was established in July 2002, replacing and expanding upon the role of its predecessor agency, the Centro Nacional de Desarrollo Municipal or CEDEMUN (National Centre for Municipal Development).Korean reunification
Korean reunification (Korean: 통일, 統一) refers to the potential unification of North Korea (the Democratic People's Republic of Korea) and South Korea (the Republic of Korea), (and the elimination of the Korean Demilitarized Zone) under a single Korean sovereign state. The process towards reunification was started by the June 15th North–South Joint Declaration in June 2000, and was reaffirmed by the Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification of the Korean Peninsula in April 2018. In the Panmunjom Declaration, the two countries agreed to work towards a peaceful reunification of Korea in the future, and the joint statement of the United States President Donald Trump and North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un at the Singapore Summit in June 2018.
Prior to World War I and Japan's annexation of Korea, all of Korea was unified as a single state for centuries, known previously as the Goryeo and Joseon dynasties, and the last unified state, the Korean Empire. After World War II and beginning in the Cold War, Korea was divided into two countries along the 38th parallel (now the Korean Demilitarized Zone). North Korea was administered by the Soviet Union in the years immediately following the war, with South Korea being managed by the United States. In 1950, North Korea invaded the South, beginning the Korean War, which ended in stalemate in 1953. Since the end of the Korean War, reunification has become more of a challenge as the two countries have grown to be increasingly divergent at a steady pace. However, in the late 2010s, relations between North and South Korea have warmed somewhat, beginning with North Korea's participation at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang County, Gangwon Province, South Korea.Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Tenth Amendment (Amendment X) to the United States Constitution, which is part of the Bill of Rights, was ratified on December 15, 1791. It expresses the principle of federalism and states' rights, which strictly supports the entire plan of the original Constitution for the United States of America, by stating that the federal government possesses only those powers delegated to it by the United States Constitution. All remaining powers are reserved for the states or the people.
The amendment was proposed by the 1st United States Congress in 1789 during its first term following the adoption of the Constitution. It was considered by many members as a prerequisite to many state ratifications of the Constitution and particularly to satisfy demands of Anti-Federalists who opposed the creation of a stronger federal government.
The drafters of this amendment had two purposes in mind: first, as a necessary rule of construction; and second, as a reaffirmation of the nature of federalism.