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Federalism: A study of evolution and consequences
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Political Science.
2009 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Federalism is an important and broadly implemented feature in today's international community of polities. Around 70% of the world states are believed to have at least some element of federalism, and around 20 of the world's nations are considered to be federal states, and 40% of the world's population lives in these countries.

The purpose of this thesis is therefore to investigate federalism. To see what reasons that is behind federalism and if federalism itself have any effects on issues such as democracy and participation.

First of all it is important to understand what federalism is, and as mentioned above countries can have different degrees of federalism; however, two very important aspects are division of power and self rule. Division of power means that the governing power is divided, the federation as a whole has its governing system and the regions or states have their own.

Self rule is given in a federation, the goal here is to create a system where regions and states can have their sovereignty and make decisions that they believe are the best for their region, but at the same time they belong to a bigger system and have to obey the rules of the national government as well. This often becomes a source of disagreement, what should be the responsibility of the region and what should the national government control.

Political scientists have over time been discussing what the reasons for a country become a federation might be. I will in this thesis discuss five hypothetical reasons: 1) A practical reason- Countries becomes federal because of their areal size and population size 2) historical circumstances- influences from former colonial powers 3) ethical diversity 4) the will to expand territory and 5) the will to give up territory.

After looking at different countries evolvement towards federalism it is justified to say that all of the hypotheses, to some degree are correct. All of them do have an effect when it comes to why a country becomes federal.

There are reasons to believe that a higher level of democracy, political participation and conservatism are consequences of federalism. After doing some statistical test it can beconcluded that democracy and political participation are somehow correlated to federalism, but it is not justified to say that a country is democratic because of federalism, other factor have to be taken into consideration. Conservatism however can be seen as a result offederalism.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. , 48 p.
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-9316OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-9316DiVA: diva2:222104
Presentation
(English)
Uppsok
samhälle/juridik
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2009-06-18 Created: 2009-06-05 Last updated: 2009-06-18Bibliographically approved

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