Centralization (Political Science)

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  • A system of government in which one central authority has direct control over an area of operations. The opposite of centralization is decentralization, a system of dispersing authority to the more local level. One example of centralization versus decentralization involves the question of who holds the proper authority over local police forces. In many European nations, police forces are under the command of a national force with headquarters in the nation's capital office and regional offices scattered throughout the country. For example, in Italy, nonmilitary police forces are under the auspices of the national Polizia di Stato, or State Police, with headquarters in Rome. This is in contrast to the American system, where there is a national, nonmilitary police force—the Federal Bureau of Investigation—with jurisdiction ...

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