Does Federalism Have Predictable Consequences? Research Paper by AmieRose

An exploration of the ethnic, geographic, political, and economic consequences of federalism.
# 146639 | 2,728 words | 12 sources | MLA | 2010 | GB

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This paper focuses on the political concept of federalism, exploring theories as to its ethnic, geographical, political, and economic consequences throughout the world. The paper asserts that, in theory, after federalism has been established there is equal and shared power, so there is an incentive to work together for the benefit of all, rather than fighting or exaggerating differences between localities. The paper contends that this is able to happen because federalism guarantees power for regional governments in the central government, where regional interests can influence decisions as well as having a secondary government system. The federalist system offers an alternative to the centralized authority of unitary states, the paper explains; therefore, the expectation is that federal states with diverse populations will united despite this, and unitary systems with diverse populations will be disunited. The paper concludes that federalism is often found in countries with ethnic cleavages and due to the close relationship between the regional government and the electorate in many cases there is increased turnout at the regional level; however, each of the consequence has yielded results that contradict the general flow of this assertion. This paper contains illustrative tables and figures.

From the Paper:

"The question also implies a degree to which the federalist system produces 'predictable consequences;' that there is some form of behavioural pattern or phenomenon that results due to the existence of the federal division of power. Based on this premise, it is possible to suggest patterns of behaviour that would be expected in federalist system. Three particular consequences have been chosen in order to assess this claim and to test how predictable they are. A federalist state would expect to have high voter turnout due to the localised nature of power in states, a voting system that uses a proportional representation in order to account for differences at the national level and finally that federalism has been implemented in states where there are diverse ethnic cleavages in the populations to increase unity. Each of these hypotheses will be taken individually and tested against case examples."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • D.J. Elazar, Exploring Federalism, Alabama University Press, (Tuscaloosa, 1987)
  • U.K Hicks, Federalism: Failure and Success, Macmillan Press, (London, 1978)
  • R. Hague and M. Harrop, Comparative Government and Politics, 7th ed, Palgrave, (New York, 2007)
  • J.J Linz, ' The Perils of Presidentialism,' and D.L. Horowitz, 'Comparing Democratic Systems' in Parliamentary versus Presidential Government, ed, A.Lijphart, Oxford, (1992).
  • Federalism, The Multiethnic Challenge, ed. G. Smith, Longman Publishing (New York, 1995) Including:J. Robinson, 'Federalism and the Transformation of South African State,' C. Williams, 'A Requiem for Canada?'

Cite this Research Paper:

APA Format

Does Federalism Have Predictable Consequences? (2011, January 09) Retrieved January 27, 2022, from

MLA Format

"Does Federalism Have Predictable Consequences?" 09 January 2011. Web. 27 January. 2022. <>