An australian republic
The ule distinguishes federal states from unitary states. It is also
the most formal component of the definition, in the sense that it is grounded
in constitutional or at least statutory law, while rules two and three may also
be the product of norms. The second rule distinguishes between federal
states according to the allocation of resources to the federal and state levels
of government. Federal institutions differ in their allocation of power
between the federal and state levels of government. The power of a level of
government is a function of its constitutionally assigned jurisdictions and its
ability to discharge these tasks. The centralisation of public finances is an
efficient indicator of the allocation of resources, or power. The third rule
also distinguishes between federal states, on the basis of whether joint
decision making occurs between the federal and state governments, due to
a federal institutional design that structures a high degree of state
involvement in federal decision making.
This definition of federalism purposely avoids stipulating an ideal
institutional arrangement for federalism. The most obvious omission here is
the requirement for a bicameral legislature. Almost all federations feature
bicameralism. Inductively, this may establish bicameralism as a defining
feature of federalism. Not all upper houses produce the same effects,
however: some have weak powers while others are strong; some structure
intergovernmental cooperation while others do not. This general definition
identifies the two key dimensions along which federal systems vary – the
allocation of power and resources and the requirement for
intergovernmental co-operation – and uses these as the common ground for
a comparative study of federalism. Examining federations in terms of their
institutional effects allows us to predict political behaviour based on the
incentives and choices that are structured by the institutional...