Essay on Federalism

Published: 2022/01/10
Number of words: 657


Federalism refers to a political unity where individuals are bound by a covenant. The agreement of these groups includes the definition of the head of the group. In respect to a government system, federal systems of government constitute the management of government borders as a sovereign state. In additional the state organ needs to work concurrently with other political units in the country. The United States of America, Germany and Canada represent states utilizing federal system of governance. In these governments, the sovereignty of the countries is shared between the central governing bodies and other political units (Golem & Perović, 2014). This system ensures efficient sharing of power within countries. According to the arrangement of these governments, the central unit has certain powers while other governing bodies enjoy certain rights.

Advantages of Federalism

When it comes to the application of federalism in governments, there are various advantages. The determining factor concerning federalism is the division of power between the central government and other units. In relation to this, one can state that the advantages of federalism may be categorized as the advantages of decentralized governments. One of the advantages of federalism is that it permits diversity (Higgs, 2015). Diversity aspects comes to fore because of the central government allowing other units to provide governance decisions. The central government may deal with national issues while local governments handle local problems (Golem & Perović, 2014). The other advantage of federalism is the availability of conflict solving strategies. Since there is division of power, federalism assists local governments solve their own problems.

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The federal government in such situations allows people in certain locations to make decisions concerning their problems. By allowing, various communities to make their own judgments and governing solutions federalism restrict conflicts within groups. Policies will not only emerge from the central government but from diverse power basis (Higgs, 2015). The other advantage of federalism is to dispense power. The distribution of power also assists in protecting the tyranny.

Disadvantages of Federalism

Federalism has its share of disadvantages. This system of governance allows for the protection of special interest. In the process of protection of special interests, the system might lead to segregation between communities and units. Such segregation might lead to racial discrimination. Federalism might also lead to the probability of local leaders to frustrate central government strategies (Higgs, 2015). Local leaders might block policies that may relate to pollution, civil rights and energy. This system of governance limits growth in poorer populations.

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Federalism in USA

Since the ratification of the United States constitution, there have been various changes to the federal system. American federalism has undergone various challenges that include changes in public finance. During the 1960s and 70s local governing bodies received public funding. In the current system of federalism, funding from the central government has slowed substantially (Golem & Perović, 2014). There has been an increase in the need of local services however; public funding from the government has become slow. On the other end, international trade has had an impact of federalism. International trade has made it possible for local governments to raise funds thus influencing taxation.

Contemporary politics has an influence on federalism. Politicians gunning for central government seat need to consider interests of local units. In respect to this, the central government changes its policies towards other units. However, in utilizing federalism system of governance, there is an increase in citizens’ participation (Higgs, 2015). On the negative sides of the system, federalism increases inequalities between states.


Golem, S., & Perović, L. M. (2014). An Empirical Analysis Of The Relationship Between Fiscal Decentralization And The Size Of Government. Finance A Uver: Czech Journal Of Economics & Finance, 64(1), 30-58.

Higgs, R. (2015). How Big Is Government In The United States?. Independent Review, 20(2), 317-319.

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