Advantages and Disadvantages of Federalism

In a big company if all the work and decision are taken by the owner then it will be very difficult task and company won’t be able to function properly whereas if there are departments like marketing department, sales department, finance department and production department then there is segregation of work and each department can take its decision independently, however the decision of the owner will be final in the same way the system of federalism works. Federalism refers to that form of government structure where there are two governments one is at the center which deals with national issues and solves national and major problems; however apart from this central government, there are many state governments also which deals with the local issue and solve regional problems. In order to understand this better let’s look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of federalism –

Advantages of Federalism

  1. The biggest advantage of federalism is that for a big country it is not possible for one government to cater to the needs of all areas of the country and in the case of federalism since the country is divided into many states which have separate governments it makes it easier to control and solve the problems of all the areas of the country.
  2. In case of company if one person is given all the power than he or she may misuse it however due to presence of departmental heads chances of misuse of power decreases in the same way in the case of federalism all power is not centralized rather it is well distributed due to presence of state heads and hence chances of misuse of power decreases under this form of government structure
  3. In case of company if you have to give creative idea and want to contribute to the development of the company then you will not go the owner but if there are departmental heads then you will go to them comfortably with your ideas same is the case with federalism where due to the presence of state administration it helps in involving more people in the development of the state or region as they feel more connected with state as compared to center.

Disadvantages of Federalism

  1. The biggest disadvantage of federalism is the conflict of interest between states and government at the center and due to this decision which are taken by the center may not be implemented properly by the states and any proposal by states may not receive help from center if there are differences between the state and center which in turn can hamper the growth of the country.
  2. Another limitation of federalism is that all states are not same when it comes to demographics, population, area, culture and so on and if government at the center allocate resources not taking into account the differences then it can lead to unequal distribution of resources which will give rise to conflicts between states which again is not a good thing as far as national interests are concerned.
  3. Federalism sometimes leads to blame game where state governments blame government at the center for any problem happening in the state so that state government can hide its own inefficiency and make government at the center accountable while government at the center blames states government for inefficient implementation of central government policies. Hence in this blame game ultimately it is the citizens of the country which have to suffer as nobody is willing to accept their responsibility.

As one can see from the above that federalism has many advantages as well as disadvantages and this form of government structure is ideal for big countries which are highly diverse and geographically vast because of its inherent benefits of federalism in managing the big countries.

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