The Institutional Approach: Changes That Would Take Place If A Country Changed From A Unitary To A Federal System

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Comparative public administration brings about the understanding of the institutional structures of government in different governmental administration. According to Hague & Harrop (2004), internationally comparative approach is needed. Given problems of conceptualization, the availability of reliable and comparable data, and the (sometimes-subtle) differences between political-administrative systems, a focused comparison has the best chances of being completed satisfactorily.


System of government has to do with pattern of how power allocation is being shared within the different arms and levels of government. The unitary system of government maintain the centralization of power within the central government with a subsidiary power position reserved for regional and local government. The central government in a unitary state has the power to usurp and take control of the jurisdictional functional areas of these subordinate government levels without prior notice of any difficult amendment procedure. The case is not so in a federal system of government where power among the different levels of government exist as coordinates, rather than a superior- subordinates relationship. Here, the role and jurisdictional power of each levels of government within the federal state is explicitly spelt out by the constitution of the state. Thus, the central or federal government has no power to take over the constitutional functions of the state or local governments. In such institutional power setting, the constitution would spell all tasks that are exclusive to the federal government only. ...
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