The American Heritage Dictionary

Published: 2021-06-29 06:53:12
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Category: American History

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The American Heritage Dictionary defines federalism as a form of government in which a union of states [or regions] recognizes the sovereignty of a central authority while retaining certain residual powers of government.



William Riker, a federalism scholar defines it as an explicitly two-tiered system with some area of autonomy for each level of government and an explicit guarantee of that autonomy.



The independent authority of the constituent units distinguishes federalism from the unitary system and the current decentralization system in Uganda in which the lower government units are delegated powers by the central government, which can also take them back.



The independent authority of the constituent governance units necessarily means that they have authority to raise a good deal of revenues through major taxes in order to meet their responsibilities. In fact, taxation by the states is such a key feature of federalism that without it you essentially have no federalism.



You will note that the definition of federalism says nothing about monarchism, or feudalism. The confusion about federalism in Uganda arose out of the fact that at independence it was the kingdom areas [especially Buganda] which most insisted on a federal system because they wanted to preserve a certain level of self-determination. But a region does not need to have, or recognize, a king in order to have federal powers.

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