Federalism

Federalism is a mixed or compound mode of government that combines 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, dividing the powers between the two. Federalism in the modern era was first adopted in the unions of states during the Old Swiss Confederacy.[1]

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.[2] 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.[3][4]

Examples of a federation or federal province or state include Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Iraq, Canada, Germany, UAE, Mexico, India, Malaysia, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, Switzerland, and United States. Some characterize the European Union as the pioneering example of federalism in a multi-state setting, in a concept termed the "federal union of states".[5]


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