The Consequences of an Increasingly Globalized World Essay

The Consequences of an Increasingly Globalized World Essay

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Throughout the twentieth century, and continuing today, the process of globalisation has dramatically changed the context in which nation-states operate and, in turn, the central governments’ ability to govern in a truly democratic manner. With this in mind, this essay will address the question of whether the federal principle of governance is applicable to all or only certain states. It will argue that as the forces of globalisation continue to operate, the federal principle will gradually become the most attractive option for all democratic states as they contend with its consequences. These include the growth of ethnic diversification, the rise of ‘personality politics’, the centralization of power in the face of ‘asymmetric warfare’ and the inefficiency of national government to respond to local needs in times of strife.

Before moving deeper into the argument for the applicability of federalism to all states, we must first comprehend what this principle advocates. Described by Heywood as lying between the political organisation of a confederacy and a unitary state , federalism then can best be understood as a compromise between the extremes of decentralization in the former and of centralization in the latter, creating unity while simultaneously retaining regional diversity . This ‘mix’ is also typically entrenched in the form of a constitution which, to varying degrees, establishes the spheres of influence for what become known as the federal and state governments. This entrenchment of state and federal jurisdiction creates a division of sovereignty between the two governments, state and national, leaving neither one subordinate nor dependent upon the other for its authority, as found in unitary states. The very es...


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...k: Palgrave Macmillan,
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John Kincaid (ed), American Federalism: the third century, California: Sage
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Peter Stalker, Workers without frontiers: the effect of Globalisation on
international migration, Geneva: International Labour Organisation,
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Ronald L. Watts, Federalism: the Canadian experience, Pretoria: HSRC
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Stephen J. Randell and Roger Gibbins (ed), Federalism and the new world order,
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The 1973 Oil Crisis, retrieved 10 April 2009, from
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