BPSC- 133 Unit- 6 Federal and unitary systems, Notes available for IGNOU.

BPSC-133 OVERVIEW :-

TITLENotes
SUBJECT NAMEComparative government and politics
SUBJECT CODEBPSC-133
COURSEB.A (General) political science (BAG)
LANGUAGE MEDIUMEnglish, Hindi
TOTAL MARKS100 marks
DURATION OF PAPER3 hours
UNIVERSITY IGNOU

BPSC-133 UNIT-6 FEDERAL AND UNITARY SYSTEMS (NOTES)

TOPICS :-

  1. Introduction
  2. Understanding federal systems
  3. Federalism : essential Features
  4. Changing nature or federalism
  5. Understanding unitary system
  6. Difference unitary and federal system

6.1 INTRODUCTION :-

The two major political systems which emerge on the basis of distribution of power between different political units of  a state were unitary and federal systems.

6.2 UNDERSTANDING FEDERAL SYSTEMS :-

The basis concepts of this is that it recognize the individual entities of the states and brings them benefits in the states and brings them benefits in the area of defence, foreign policy, commerce, communications etc by  binding them together into single federal policy.

  1. Evolution of federal systems :- The first form came in 18th century in USA . The states created a structure of government at the centre and conferred on it certaion powers, retain the residual powers with themselves. They also ensured that the constitution itself could not be announced without the consent of ¾ of states agreed to come together to set up a federal polity, In India, it was a case of devolution of power from union or centre to the state or provinces. It was only after second world war that this was adopted fully, and states were recognized on linguistic and ethnic basis.  Types (a)- When the states share the sovereignty and deliberately come together to form a federation. In such cases, the regional government enjoys considerable amount of autonomy and independence from the central authority. (b)- When the characteristics of a particular political system are federal in nature, but with strong centralization tendencies, Eg- India. (c)- There are ‘decentralized unions’, which though primarily unitary, have various sub-national units which are given considerable their affairs so their identity doesn’t get threatened. Eg- Scotland.

6.3 FEDERALISM : ESSENTIAL FEATURES :-

1. Division of power :- It is the core features and can be achieved by specifying the subjects on which the federal  and can be achieved by specifying the subjects on which the federal or central government has exclusive jurisdiction and keeping the residuary powers with the states.

2. Written constitution :- It is set up to specify the areas over which the centre and states have jurisdiction, it means both of then derive powers from the  constitution. Neither the centre nor the states can make a low violating the provisions of the constitution.

3. Judicial Review :- The function of interpreting the constitution is usually given to supreme court. It decides the legal disputes arising between the centre and states or between two or more states. It can declare any act or law unconstitutional and void if it goes against the constitution and its spirit.

6.4 CHANGING NATURE OR FEDERALISM :-

The Earliest understanding of federalism is that every human association is formed by a pact and this forms the fundamental basis for living together, which leads to federal union. Later, with the formation of the American federation, the notion of dual federalism took shape. In this, both the centre and state are seen as ‘sovereign’ in their respective spheres and are consider equal.  It faces constant tension between the two. Then came cooperative federalism, in which government at both levels is seen as complementary and working in harmony base on ‘internal give and take’ model. In this, main focus  is on finding joint solutions for the welfare of citizens. But, it led to centralization of powers. In recent times, the notion was advanced to ‘self-rule plus shared rule’. Self rule is permitted exclusively in the matters of local importance and shared rule through interactive partnership to take decisions on matters of common interests.

6.5 UNDERSTANDING UNITARY SYSTEMS :-

It is much older in which the central government claimed political supremacy.

  • Unitary systems , Basic features :- It is a political systems where powers are a political system where power are vested in centralized authority, which may or may not provide for local autonomy. Seperation of power exist at central  level and not between the centre and sub-units. The ower of the sub-units (if given) is not permanent. The constitution can be amended by the centre. It has two models- hierarchic is represented by a pyramid, in which the top level represent centre having more power. The organic is represented as a relationship between the core and periphery where is dependent where periphery is dependent on the core.

6.6 DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FEDERAL AND UNITARY SYSTEMS :-

  1. Source of power :- In federal government, source of power is constitution, while in unitary, it is the centre.
  2. Nature of power :– In federal, power is inherent and is permanent which denote power sharing. While, in unitary is not permanent and is devolved in nature.
  3. Territorial Demarcation :– In federal, units come together for the purpose of accommoding the diversity while, in unitary, when territory is demarcated, the main objective is effective administration.
  4. Decentralization v/s Non- centralization :- It has a difference where purposive decentralization happens when higher authorities delegates certain power to lower levels and is not permanent. While non-centralization means where power is diffused among units and is permanent.
  5. Functional autonomy. It federal, the constituent units have greater functional autonomy and powers. While in unitary, the regional enjoys autonomy.

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