Federal And Unitary


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Understanding basics in federal and unitary systems

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Federal And Unitary

  1. 1. Federal and Unitary Political Systems Prof. Lourdes Veneracion-Rallonza, PhD Department of Political Science Ateneo de Manila University
  2. 2. Power  Recall definition of power  Hierarchy HIGHER LEVEL National government LOWER LEVEL Local government units
  3. 3. Operationalization of Hierarchy: Local Governments  “political subdivisions of the nation state”  non-sovereign communities with subordinate status  governments which are below the central government;  constituted by law --- actual extent of local self- determination or local autonomy (ability for self- government) depends on delegated authorities and on local capability
  4. 4. Nature of Dispersal of Power  Centralized - power concentrated in the center (national government)  Decentralized - power from the center - enables the maximum participation of the people - lower levels of government are encouraged and trained to be self-reliant
  5. 5. Modes of Decentralization  Deconcentration (administrative decentralization) - involves the transfer of functions from the national office to the regional and local offices - delegating functions from the central government to local government units (sectoral approach) - redistribution of administrative responsibilities
  6. 6. Modes of Decentralization  Devolution (political decentralization) - transfer of power for the performance of certain functions for the national authorities to the lower levels of government (area approach) - local governments are “perceived to be separate levels over which central authorities exercise less or no direct control” (i.e. autonomy)
  7. 7. Unitarism  Unitas  sovereignty is vested in central (national) government  (may have) decentralization through local government units  Functions of central authority - Controls local governments and determines how much power they will have - Imposes its decisions on all local governments - Emergency: greater concentration of power
  8. 8. Federalism  Foederis or covenant  Normative principle: ‘unity in diversity’  ‘self and shared rule’: ‘divided sovereignty  Components (Riker 1964) - 2 levels of government rule the same land and people - each level has at least one area of action in which it is autonomous
  9. 9. Federalism  Functions of central authority - Permits a central government to represent the various entities w/in the State where they have common interests - -- defense, foreign affairs, communication - yet allows these various entities to retain their own identities and to have their own laws, policies and customs in certain fields
  10. 10. Example 1: Canada provinces http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Political_map_of_Canada.png
  11. 11. Example 2: USA states http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Map_of_USA_with_state_names.svg
  12. 12. Example 3: Germany http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/countries_germany.htm federal, city, area states http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Karte_Bundesrepublik_Deutschland.svg
  13. 13. Example 3: Germany http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Karte_Bundesrepublik_Deutschland.svg
  14. 14. Arguments for Federalism  56 % of world’s population live in federal systems  Most democracies transition from unitary to federal systems  good for economic development: lower inflation (Lijphart, Lancaster & Hicks), lower unemployment (Crepaz)  decrease incidence of political violence  Increase efficiency in administration and delivery of services
  15. 15. Proposed Shift from Unitary to Federal System: Philippine Case  Based on Proposed Revision of 1987 Constitution by Consultative Committee on Charter Change (2005) - geographic contiguity, culture & language & economic viability “Within one year and after at least sixty percent of the provinces, highly urbanized cities and component cities of the country shall have joined in the creation of different autonomous territories, upon petition of majority of such autonomous territories through their respective regional assemblies, the Parliament shall enact a basic law for the establishment of the Federal Republic of the Philippines, whereby autonomous territories shall become federal states” (Art. XX, Sec. 15)
  16. 16. Proposed Shift from Unitary to Federal System: Philippine Case  Based on Proposal of Citizen’s Movement for Federated Philippines (CMFP) Regions Composite Units 3 Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao 5 Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao, Bangsa Moro, Cordilleras 7 North Luzon, Central Luzon, South Luzon, Visayas, North Mindanao, South Mindanao 12 Existing administrative regions
  17. 17. Proposed Shift from Unitary to Federal System: Philippine Case  Based on PGMA’s 2005 proposal - super regions for fast track economic development North Luzon (agribusiness), Metro Luzon (urban, industries & services), Central Philippines (tourism) & North Mindanao (agribusiness center in Mindanao region).
  18. 18. So, what about the Philippines?  Impact on economic development?  Solution for political violence?  Effect on governance?