Nation Centered vs. State Centered Federalism

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This paper discussed the benefits and problems of a nation centered federalism and state centered federalism. In the conclusion I will explain which I favor and why.

Federalism is a political system in which power is divided between a national or central government and the states.

Federalism has been a contentious and dynamic system. Its development has been determined more by the strength of contending interests and the country's changing needs than the nature of the Constitutional language.

Three types of federalism exist. The federal system divides government between a national and state government. This is evident in the United States and Canadian governments. A unitary system, such as France and Great Britain, places formal authority in a central government. In a confederate system, authority lies within the state government. With a confederate system, changes to or abolishment of a central government may take place.

State centered federalism is a system where the states retain most of the functions and powers of government. The federal government has the ability to influence state government partly because of the state's dependency on financial incentives from the federal government. For example, if a state wants its legal drinking age to be 18 instead of the federal government age of 21, the federal government can threaten to withhold funds for that state's highway fund.

The benefits and disadvantages of federalism are closely related to its strengths and weaknesses.

1. Federalism manages social and political conflict by dispersing political power within and among governments. This is accomplished with geographic diversity, ethnicity, language, religious preferences and other differences that are represented in state and local government groups.

2. Administrative efficiency in the form of fiscal incentives:

a. Categorical grants “ money is provided for specific

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