Meaning of Federalism

What is Federalism:

Federalism is a political system that consists of promoting, from the central State, the autonomy of the regions, provinces or states, which together form a nation.

Federalism seeks, from the autonomy of territorial entities, to establish union agreements or alliances that allow responding and providing more assertive and quick solutions to the problems that affect society.

In this sense, the authorities of the territorial entities can make political, legislative and judicial decisions that are their responsibility. Hence, in some states or provinces there are, for example, different laws or statutes in reference to what is considered legal or not in a certain place.

However, although there is an autonomous entity or body, the states, provinces, regions or municipalities are always related by the general rules of the government and, which are shared at the national level, such as, for example, complying with the provisions of the National Constitution.

Many are the countries that have a federal political system, among which we can mention Germany, Canada, Brazil, the United States, Mexico, among others.

However, federalism is different in each country, since it is a system that can be adjusted to the reality of each nation.

The important thing about federalism is that the State, in general, recognizes its parts and the diversity of realities exists in each of them. Therefore, it has a flexible government system that seeks to develop projects that reconcile the general social, political, economic and cultural values ​​of a country.

In this way, federalism is proposed, as a political system, to adjust and maintain the balance of power throughout a national territory.

See also:

  • Federation.
  • Regionalism.

Characteristics of federalism

Below are the main characteristics of federalism:

  • There is no single model of federalism, since it depends on the creation of institutions and processes that offer solutions to its various realities and that seek political unity.
  • This political system implies the existence of a national constitution in order to regulate, in a general way, the political, economic, social and cultural principles of the nation.
  • Each territorial division of a nation has a certain degree of political autonomy. The authorities that direct said entity, generally, are chosen through the vote.
  • Federalism promotes decentralization, that is, there is a central government and a set of governments or entities inferior to it, but with the ability to make certain decisions autonomously.
  • It is a political system that requires the action of the Supreme Court of Justice to interpret the laws that appear in the constitution.
  • Federalism usually has a republican political system.

See also Decentralization.

Federalism and centralism

Federalism and centralism are two opposing concepts. Federalism is characterized by being a political system that seeks the agreement of the territorial entities that make up the country, so that they have a certain autonomy assumed by an authority or body.

For its part, centralism is characterized by concentrating the power of the State in a central organ and, from there, administering the political, economic, legal and social in general.

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