Dual federalism, which is used in the United States, is a form of government in which the power is shared between the union of states and the federal government. Under this arrangement, however, the federal government has more power than any one state. Cooperative federalism is a kind of government arrangement where power is shared equally between the states and the federal government. While this type of government seems sensible on its face, it provides logistical problems because there would be almost constant gridlock between the different parties. Fiscal federalism is another arrangement, in which he with the money controls the power. This tends to shift power disproportionately toward the federal government – or toward congress – in the current American arrangement.
One of the primary advantages of federalism is that it provides an arrangement where states can be laboratories for policy. Under the federalist system, different states can try different ideas. If one state wants to try out an arrangement on criminal justice, for instance, then another state can try something different. In the ideal arrangement, the country would get to look at these two attempts and see which one yielded the best results. Another significant advantage of federalism is that it protects against the power of the federal government. Any time there is power concentrated at the top of a government system, there is the temptation for individuals to grab hold of that power. Federalism helps to ensure that the federal government does not get too powerful in this regard.
One of the disadvantages of federalism is that it can make policy development more cumbersome and difficult. When power is shared among the states and the federal government, it can be hard to quickly fix problems that might happen in the country. There will inevitably be opportunities for the country to fix its issues and move on the right track. Another disadvantage is that it can be inefficient and problematic working through some of the conflicts between the federal government and the states. When there is confusion over who controls what, the federal courts often have to step in. Federal courts are notoriously slow in dealing with issues, and the costs of litigation are serious. Simply put, there are significant conflicts between the various parties under a system of federalism.
There are three different forms of government. An autocracy sits at the top, with one person ruling over a place with limited support and no oversight. An oligarchy is a government in which a small number of individuals rules over the place. These people can have a few different types of arrangement. A democracy is one where the government is ruled by the people, either through direct votes or through a representative system. This is one in which public administrators are seeking to enforce the will of the people, while other government types have limited concern for the will of the people.
There are a number of common goals of these types of government. Each is looking for security. In an autocracy, security is important because leaders would prefer not to be deposed. In a democracy, security is a manifestation of the desire of all people to be safe from the dangers around them, and especially the dangers posed by other citizens. Likewise, all government seeks the more efficient use of resources. In an autocracy or an oligarchy, there is an expectation that economic gains will benefit the pockets of the people in charge, while a democracy envisions that economic growth will be more beneficial for all people as a whole.