What is Federalism?

In federal countries, power is shared between a government for the whole country – which is sometimes called federal government, national government or Union government – and governments for federal units within this country. Federal units are also often called provinces, states or cantons. Federalism means the constitution divides power between at least two levels or orders of government.Both orders have a direct electoral relationship with their citizens. In some federal countries, people also elect their local government, which may also be constitutionally recognized.

The federal government is responsible for common purposes for the whole country such as national defence, currency and foreign relations. The states or provinces are empowered to act within their areas of responsibility as it is described in the constitution. The federal power cannot take away the power of the federal units.

Watch this Forum of Federations animated video called, “What is Federalism?” to get a basic understanding of Federalism.

Click the blue button below to learn more about Federalism including which countries are federal and benefits of federalism

New in Federalism
Forum of Federations Resource Library
Publications icon

Publications

ForumFedCast logo

Podcast

Blog icon

Blog

Video Library icon

Video Library

Forum of Federations Programs
Group of people discussing around round table

Thematic Programs

Thematic Programs concern the development and mobilization of knowledge on federal and multilevel governance systems.

Woman writing

Country/Regional Programs

Country/Regional Programs are demand-led initiatives which respond to the needs of stakeholders and donors concerning the creation, development, and reform of governance systems in emerging federal and multilevel countries.

Forum News
Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons

𝐅𝐨𝐫𝐮𝐦 𝐍𝐞𝐰𝐬!📰

On February 22, 2024, the Forum of Federations signed an MOU with มหาวิทยาลัยเชียงใหม่ Chiang Mai University We are very happy to deepen the collaboration between our two institutions.

Assistant Professor Dr. Jutathip Chalermphon, Assistant President of Chiang Mai University, and Mr. Felix Knuepling, Vice President, Programs, The Forum of Federations, joined in the signing ceremony of the Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) between Chiang Mai University. This MOU will help support project operations between the two organizations, including providing budgetary support for joint activities and projects.

Read More:https://www.cmu.ac.th/th/article/560dc260-8b32-4f6e-9506-8f41194c3166
... See MoreSee Less

𝐅𝐨𝐫𝐮𝐦 𝐍𝐞𝐰𝐬!📰  On February 22, 2024, the Forum of Federations signed an MOU with มหาวิทยาลัยเชียงใหม่ Chiang Mai University We are very happy to deepen the collaboration between our two institutions.  Assistant Professor Dr. Jutathip Chalermphon, Assistant President of Chiang Mai University, and Mr. Felix Knuepling, Vice President, Programs, The Forum of Federations, joined in the signing ceremony of the Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) between Chiang Mai University. This MOU will help support project operations between the two organizations, including providing budgetary support for joint activities and projects.  Read More:https://www.cmu.ac.th/th/article/560dc260-8b32-4f6e-9506-8f41194c3166

𝐇𝐨𝐭 𝐨𝐟𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐏𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐬! 🔥📚

𝐅𝐨𝐫𝐮𝐦 𝐏𝐨𝐥𝐢𝐜𝐲 𝐏𝐚𝐩𝐞𝐫 𝐨𝐧 𝐂𝐥𝐢𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐆𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐧𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐌𝐮𝐥𝐭𝐢𝐥𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐥 𝐏𝐨𝐥𝐢𝐜𝐲 𝐏𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐞𝐬

As part of any effort to combat the impact of climate change; multilevel systems, communities, government and other actors are integral to success of climate adaptation and mitigation policies that strive to build capacity and resilience as governments confront the effects and impacts of climate change.

In order to prepare and support governments, communities and economies at subnational levels for the challenges posed by climate change; multilevel systems of government can provide a unique and important set of policy levers and actors. These policy levers and actors are integral to dealing with slow and sudden onset impacts of climate change, in particular on those groups in vulnerable situations such as natural resource dependent communities and farmers with disproportionate impacts felt by women and children.

This paper presents the cases of Thailand and Malaysia building on the Forum’s work on multilevel systems and climate governance which anchors our efforts to support governments and ODA work in addressing the global challenge of climate change.

📖➡️https://revistasonline.inap.es/index.php/GAPP/article/view/11271/12730
... See MoreSee Less

𝐇𝐨𝐭 𝐨𝐟𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐏𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐬! 🔥📚  𝐅𝐨𝐫𝐮𝐦 𝐏𝐨𝐥𝐢𝐜𝐲 𝐏𝐚𝐩𝐞𝐫 𝐨𝐧 𝐂𝐥𝐢𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐆𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐧𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐌𝐮𝐥𝐭𝐢𝐥𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐥 𝐏𝐨𝐥𝐢𝐜𝐲 𝐏𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐞𝐬  As part of any effort to combat the impact of climate change; multilevel systems, communities, government and other actors are integral to success of climate adaptation and mitigation policies that strive to build capacity and resilience as governments confront the effects and impacts of climate change.  In order to prepare and support governments, communities and economies at subnational levels for the challenges posed by climate change; multilevel systems of government can provide a unique and important set of policy levers and actors. These policy levers and actors are integral to dealing with slow and sudden onset impacts of climate change, in particular on those groups in vulnerable situations such as natural resource dependent communities and farmers with disproportionate impacts felt by women and children.  This paper presents the cases of Thailand and Malaysia building on the Forum’s work on multilevel systems and climate governance which anchors our efforts to support governments and ODA work in addressing the global challenge of climate change.  📖➡️https://revistasonline.inap.es/index.php/GAPP/article/view/11271/12730
Load more
What is Federalism?
Popular Pages
The Future of Federalism

Click here to experience this special Forum event

Social Media