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An introduction to the issue of federalism in the united states

Federalism by John Kincaid Federalism is essentially a system of voluntary self-rule and shared rule.

Concepts of Federalism

A covenant signifies a binding partnership among co-equals in which the parties to the covenant retain their individual identity and integrity while creating a new entity, such as a family or a body politic, that has its own identity and integrity as well. A covenant also signifies a morally binding commitment in which the partners behave toward each other in accord with the spirit of the law rather than merely the letter of the law. Multi-level Governance by Michael Stein Multi-level Governance is a concept developed by academics and policy-makers in the late 1980s and early 1990s in conjunction with the emergence of a more economically and politically integrated European Union.

It was initially intended to describe a broadening of the concept of federalism in a vertical and territorial sense to include the intergovernmental policy-making structures of more than two levels of government, but no more than five: In recent years, however, the concept has also been extended horizontally and functionally to encompass non-governmental and non-statist entities such as private sector interest groups and non-profit organizations and charitable organizations whose role in the international policy-making process is increasing with economic globalization.

These an introduction to the issue of federalism in the united states governance structures tend to be more ephemeral and flexible in nature, and more numerous and fragmented than other intergovernmental policy-making structures Hooghe and Marks 2003. In contrast to that in traditional Anglo-American federalism, the pattern of intergovernmental relations in the European Union reflects the features of an overlapping, interlocking, and cooperative type of federalism that is generally identified with a distinct continental European tradition of federalism.

But many proponents of multi-level governance argue that there are good grounds today for applying this concept analytically to intergovernmental policy-making structures outside the European Union, particularly to the increasingly important supranational and local governance structures in politically decentralized countries.

There is currently no one generally accepted definition of multi-level governance. Among common strands, however, are the following: Among the major criticisms of the concept are: Decentralization by Arthur Benz The concept of decentralization usually refers to multilevel structures of government or administration. It results from re allocation of power to elect or denominate policymakers, of legislative or administrative competences or of fiscal resources from higher to lower levels.

Given interdependencies between levels, decentralization is to be regarded as a relational concept. Regardless of its extent, decentralization affects governance and democratic legitimacy. For this reason, it is not only a matter of multilevel power games but also contested for normative reasons. In political theory and practice, decentralization is now mostly regarded as a preferable alternative to centralization.

One reason for decentralization is derived from the principle of subsidiarity. Rooted in the political philosophy of reformed Protestantism in the early 17th century and in social theory of the Catholic Church of the 19th century, it defends the priority of small social communities against large societies and a centralized, bureaucratic state.

Moreover, decentralization is said to improve democracy.

Federalism in the United States

If government is closer to the people, communication between citizens and their representatives should be more effective and individual preferences should have better chances to be considered in political decisions. Decentralised structures can reflect plurality and regional differentiation of societal interests.

Liberalist theories prefer decentralization as a device against dictatorship either of autocrats or of majorities. Economic theories stipulate that decentralization fosters efficiency of policy making. If citizens have an opportunity to choose between alternative supplies of public goods or services provided by lower-level governments demanding different tax burdens, they force governments competing for taxpayers to make every effort to find an optimal ratio of costs and benefits.