Pros And Cons Of Federalism

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An Overview on Federalism Through the PH Debate Context The problem with concepts in political science like federalism is it’s taken for granted.
When advocates and critics debate the pros and cons of federalism in the country, it seems as if it’s a straightforward issue and idea, devoid of nuances. Indeed, the need for clarification and understanding of the concept is important to raise the level of its discussion in our society.
Paleker provided a conceptual analysis of federalism by delineating and integrating three theories seeking to explain it (309). The first theory called classical theory explains a legalistic point of view. It forwards a law-like definition by classifying conditions that must fit the federalism criteria (304). Second, the origin theory points to sociological, political or multiple explanations on factors that lead to a state’s adoption of a federal system (305). Lastly, the functional theory sees federalism as a constantly changing interaction between two levels of government having a degree of interdependence despite their respective autonomy.
It follows, then that federalism as a concept is subject to interpretation from multiple perspectives. In the context of this discussion and relevance with the ongoing debate, we’ll analyze federalism through the first theory for ease and clarity.
The origin of federalism comes from the Latin word “foedus” meaning “pact” or
“covenant” (Heywood 382). In 1789, the United States of America was

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