This content was published on September 18, 2006 - 12:58

Federalism is a system which gives both the national government as well as defined regions within the country the power to pass laws. In Switzerland, the cantons decide their own laws regarding taxation and education, for example. Federalism differs from the centralised state model, where local authorities have only an administrative competence. Switzerland has been a federal state since 1848. Other federal states include Belgium, Germany, India, Canada and the United States.

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