Federalism is a constitutional mechanism for dividing power between different levels of government, such that federated units can enjoy constitutionally guaranteed autonomy over certain policy areas while sharing power in accordance over other policy areas.
International IDEA’s Constitution-Building Primers are designed to assist in-country constitution-building or constitutional-reform processes by helping citizens, political parties, civil society organisations, public officials, and members of constituent assemblies make wise constitutional choices.
They also provide guidance for staff of intergovernmental organizations and other external actors working to provide well-informed, context-relevant support to local decision-makers.
What is the issue?
Distribution of powers
The boundaries of sub-national units
Institutions of sub-national government
Federalism and the Constitution as a whole
Possible alternatives to federalism
References, resources and further reading