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Group Members: Yohannes Dires Samuel Getaneh Sisay Getnet H/mariam Sewagegn Habtamu Adugna
[Civics Ethical Education Group Research]
The Merits and Demerits of Federal and Unitary State
Submitted to: SOS HGS Bahir-Dar Civics Department
Civics and Ethical Education Group Research 2
A unitary government is a government in which all the powers of the state are concentrated in the hands of the Central Government sanctioned by the constitution. The Local Governments derive their powers from the Central Government. In this system, the constitution does make arrangements for the distribution of power between the local and the central governments. For the convenience of administration of unitary government the state is divided into some parts. In these parts local governments are formed. To squeeze or expand the power of the government depends on the will of the central government.
However, unitary states often also include one or more self-governing regions. The difference between a federation and this kind of unitary state is that in a unitary state the autonomous status of self-governing regions exists by the sufferance of the central government, and may be unilaterally revoked. While it is common for a federation to be brought into being by agreement between a numbers of formally independent states, in a unitary state self-governing regions are often created through a process of decentralization, where a formerly centralized state agrees to grant autonomy to a region that was previously entirely subordinate. Thus federations are often established voluntarily from 'below' whereas devolution grants self-government from 'above'.
It is often part of the philosophy of a unitary state that, regardless of the actual status of any of its parts, its entire territory constitutes a single sovereign entity or nation-state, and that by virtue of this the central government exercises sovereignty over the whole territory as of right. In a federation, on the other hand, sovereignty is often regarded as residing notionally in the component states, or as being shared between these states and the central government.
Civics and Ethical Education Group Research 3 Ethiopia before 1991 G.C. was considered as one nation state and was
under a unitary state.
Merits of the unitary government
In the system of Unitary form of government, the same law, policies and the same administration prevail in the country under one government. Under this system the administration becomes strong and the national unity is integrated. Or Uniform application of laws and policies. As all the powers are in the hands of one government, greater skill and efficiency is reflected both in the domestic and International affairs. Provides a relatively simple organization. There is little or no duplication of personnel and services. Decrease the economic outcome budget.
Demerits of the unitary government
I. II. In the unitary system of government the local governments have no power. They carry on administration depending on the will of the central government. Very often the central government does not know the local problems and grievances. So, the laws passed by the central government may not be useful according to the needs and demands of the local government. The local governments don’t have their own constitution
It does not give the opportunity for local self government
certain local peculiarities III. IV. V.
and preservation of
It may decrease the number or the recognization of the nation and nationalities’ Culture
and language since they are considered as a nation.
People may not have direct right to make decision In the country there may not be a serious control of the local power holders since the power and authority is held by the central government. If there would have been
separation of power the local governments may take full control of their territory.
Economic development will be limited in one area.
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THE FOLLOWING IS A LIST OF OTHER UNITARY STATES: Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo (Brazzaville), Congo (Kinshasa), Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Fiji Islands, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, North Korea, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vatican City, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, and Zimbabwe
Civics and Ethical Education Group Research 5
A federation (Latin: foedus, foederis, 'covenant'), also known as a federal state, is a type of sovereign state characterized by a union of partially self-governing states or regions united by a central (federal) government.
In the system of administration where the constitution distributes the powers between the Central Government and the Provincial Government In a federation, the self-governing status of the component states is typically constitutionally entrenched and may not be altered by an Independent decision of the central government. The form of government or constitutional structure found in a federation is known as federalism it can be considered the opposite of another system, the unitary state. Federations may be multi-ethnic, or cover a large area of territory, although neither is necessarily the case. Federations are most often founded on an original agreement between a number of sovereign states based on mutual concerns or interests. The initial agreements create a stability that encourages other common interests, brings the disparate territories closer, and gives them all even more common ground. At some time this is recognized and a movement is organized to merge more closely. Other times, especially when common cultural factors are at play such as ethnicity and language, some of these steps in this pattern are expedited and compressed.
This system is there in India and in the United States of America. In the system there are two types of government: the Central government, and the state government. The constitution distributes power between the Central and the State Government. The subjects concerning the total interest of the states remain under the Central Government and
Civics and Ethical Education Group Research 6
the subjects concerning the local interest remain in the State or Provincial Government. In the matters of regional administration the State Government enjoys self-government. In this system of administration the constitution is written and it is rigid.
Merits of the Federal government
In a Federal system the unit or Provincial Governments maintain national unity keeping their separate entity. The federal system of administration is a political contrivance. Powers are distributed between the central and the Provincial Government by the constitution so; the load of works of the central government is lessened. As a result, the skill of both the governments increases. As there is the distribution of specific powers, the central government does not interfere with the administration of the provincial government to become autocratic. Distribution of power among the member states and the central government has 3 benefits ()1 It secures peoples’ right to self governance and gives them the chance to participate this right fully. ()2 It also provides people with opportunity to work together on equal basis for their common good. ()3 It limits the authority of the central government.
Demerits of the Federal government
In this system of administration the state governments create laws for their own necessity and convenience; so there is no similarity in law and administration in different state governments. In the different parts of the same state different types of laws are promulgated. In both, the governments conflict regarding right body up. As the powers are divided between the two governments the central government becomes weak in many respects.
Civics and Ethical Education Group Research 7 III.
A federal state is where sovereignty is shared between relatively sovereign state governments, and an "umbrella development" government of very limited, clearly defined power. Neither state nor federal governments have the power to interfere with the other's powers. The country or the nation and nationalities may separate due to their self governance.
Federating Units Provinces of Argentina States and territories of Australia States of Austria Divisions of Belgium Divisions of Bosnia and Herzegovina States of Brazil Provinces and territories of Canada
Major Federating Units 23 provinces
Minor Federating Units 1 federal district 1 federal district/territory, 1 major territory, several minor territories
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Australia Austria Belgium Bosnia and Herzegovina Brazil
6 states 9 Länder or Bundesländer 2 Communities, 2 Regions and 1 merged Community and Region 2 entities (out of which one is itself a federation, consisting of 10 cantons) 26 states
1 district 1 federal district and 5,561 municipalities 3 territories
Canada Comoros Ethiopia Germany Republic of India Iraq Malaysia Mexico Federated States of Micronesia Nigeria Pakistan
10 provinces 3 islands
Regions of Ethiopia States of Germany
9 regions 16 Länder or Bundesländer
2 chartered cities
States and 27 states territories of India Governorates of Iraq 18 governorates, including the autonnmous region ofKurdistan.
7 union territories including a national capital territory
States of Malaysia 13 states States of Mexico 31 states 4 states States of Nigeria Provinces and territories of Pakistan Federal subjects of Russia 36 states 4 provinces 21 republics, 46 oblasts, 9 krais, 1 autonomous oblast, 4 autonomous okrugs, 2 federallevel cities
3 federal territories 1 federal district
1 territory 4 federal territories including a federal capital territory
Saint Kitts and Nevis Sudan Switzerland United Arab Emirates United States of America
Islands/parishes of Saint Kitts and 2 islands/14 parishes Nevis States of Sudan Cantons of Switzerland Emirates of the UAE The 50 states 26 states 26 cantons 7 emirates 1 federal district; 1 incorporated territory, 13 unincorporated
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Figure 1 A map showing the federal and unitary states in the world
Key Black Unitary states
White Federal states
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federation http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_state
Google Answers: http://answers.google.com WikiEducator http://www.wikieducator.org/Formsofgovernment Oxford journals http://publius.oxfordjournals.org/
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