Political events in various parts of the world during the past decade have attracted new attention to the strengths and weaknesses of federal solutions as a means of resolving political problems. Conceptual distinctions have been drawn between “federalism” as a normative term, “federal political systems” as a descriptive term referring to a broad genus of federal arrangements, and “federation” as a particular species within that genus. The extensive literature on the design and operation of federal systems is reviewed, with particular attention to asymmetry among constituent units, degrees of noncentralization, financial relationships, the impact of federative institutions and the courts, and the development of multi-tiered federal systems. Federal processes illustrated by patterns of formation and evolution, the significance of the increasingly global economy, intergovernmental relations, the impact of cultural, ethnic and national diversities, and the pathology of federal systems are also considered.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

  • Article Type: Review Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error