Federalism is a normative concept that emphasizes a diffusion of political authority among levels of government. Federal political systems are political organizations marked by shared power among their constituent units. Some examples of federal political systems include unions, constitutionally decentralized unions, federations, confederations, federacies, associated states, condominiums, leagues, and joint functional authorities. As Ronald Watts has written, a federation

is a compound polity combining constituent units and a general government, each possessing powers delegated to it by the people through a constitution, each empowered to deal directly with the citizens in the exercise of a significant portion of its legislative, administrative, and taxing powers, and each directly elected by its citizens.

In contrast, a confederation is more dependent on its constituent governments, is composed of delegates from ...

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