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see federal governmentfederal government
or federation,
government of a union of states in which sovereignty is divided between a central authority and component state authorities. A federation differs from a confederation in that the central power acts directly upon individuals as well as
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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a state system in which a single sovereign state is composed of several united states, each of which juridically maintains a certain degree of political independence. Historically, the first bourgeois federation was the USA, established by the Constitution of 1787. Other federations include the Federal Republic of Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela, India, Pakistan, Burma, Malaysia, Australia, and Nigeria. The USSR, the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic are socialist federations.

A federation is marked by the following features: (1) territorial extent, a federation is coextensive with the area occupied by its individual members—its states, cantons, Lander, union republics, or other territorial units; (2) the member states of a federation usually have the right to adopt their own constitution; (3) the limits between federal and state jurisdiction are set forth in the federal constitution; (4) each member state of a federation has its own laws and judicial system; and (5) in most federations, a person is simultaneously a citizen of the union and a citizen of one of its united states. Some federations have a bicameral system in which one chamber represents the interests of the federation’s member states.

Socialist federations, which differ radically from bourgeois federations, are based on another principle entirely. In the USSR and in the socialist countries, for the first time in history the state system of federation has become the basis for resolving the national question. The socialist federations are based on the principle of national territoriality and the voluntary union of the sovereign and equal members of the federation, each member having the right to secede from the federation. The development and organization of national states have been influenced by the historical experience of the socialist countries, and particularly of the USSR; this influence is evident in some countries, such as Burma and India, that were freed from colonial dependence and that formed a type of federation consistent with their national makeup.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. the union of several provinces, states, etc., to form a federal union
2. a political unit formed in such a way
3. any league, alliance, or confederacy
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
National Sports Federations must concentrate on Women Wing so that healthy women activities can be flourished in the country.
Similarly, the Pakistan Athletics Federation was given Rs2.5 million, Pakistan Netball Federation received Rs1.5 million while the volley ball federation received a grant of Rs1 million.
The move comes in protest at the management of the national federation and its alleged lack of positive action since the team's better than expected run in the 2017 World Cup.
Salim apprised the minister of the performance of tennis federation and also highlighted its efforts to bring Davis Cup to Pakistan after 12 years gap.
The Ministry of Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) has decided to become part of Pakistan Hockey Federation's (PHF) 54th Congress meeting and invite all stake holders to give their opinion before deciding on the future of the struggling body.
DG PSG also advised federations to submit their training plan to assess financial analysis of each road map in writing to the working group to evaluate and submit their recommendations to the board for the South Asian Games.
The development came at a time when the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) is expected to give the official recognition to SWAFF as its fifth regional federation.
At the meeting, representatives of the 5 federations expressed their desire to create a united subzone with own championship - Association of Federations of Central Asian Volleyball (AFCAV).
The current watch list of four member federations: Kenya, Ethiopia, Belarus and Ukraine are in Category A, which will include those member federations majorly at risk of doping.
Out of these 39 Sport Federations, 23 could not get even single penny in these first six months from their annual grants while remaining 16 federations could get partial funds, which are not sufficient for running their expenditures, which has been suffering the sports development in the country.

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