A federated state (which may also be referred to as a state, a province, a region, a canton, a land, a governorate, an oblast, an emirate or a country) is a territorial and constitutional community forming part of a federation. Such states differ from fully sovereign states, in that they do not have full sovereign powers, as the sovereign powers have been divided between the federated states and the central or federal government. Importantly, federated states do not have standing as entities of international law. Instead, the federal union as a single entity is the sovereign state for purposes of international law. Depending on the constitutional structure of a particular federation, a federated state can hold various degrees of legislative, judicial, and administrative jurisdiction over a defined geographic territory and is a form of regional government.
In some cases, a federation is created from a union of political entities, which are either independent or dependent territories of another sovereign entity (most commonly a colonial power).[A] In other cases, federated states have been created out of the administrative divisions of previously unitary states.[B] Once a federal constitution is formed, the rules governing the relationship between federal and regional powers become part of the country's constitutional law and not international law.
In countries with federal constitutions, there is a division of power between the central government and the component states. These entities – states, provinces, counties, cantons, Länder, etc. - are partially self-governing and are afforded a degree of constitutionally guaranteed autonomy that varies substantially from one federation to another.[C] Depending on the form the decentralization of powers takes, a federated state's legislative powers may or may not be overruled or vetoed by the federal government. Laws governing the relationship between federal and regional powers can be amended through the national or federal constitution, and, if they exist, state constitutions as well.
In terms of internal politics, federated states can have republican or monarchical forms of government. Those of republican form (federated republics) are usually called states (like states of the USA) or republics (like republics in the former USSR).
List of constituents by federation
The "federated units" in the table below have inherent governmental authority in the federation's constitutional system, while the "other units" are delegated authority by the federal government or are administered directly by it.
- Associated state
- Federal district
- Federal territory
- List of administrative divisions by country
- List of autonomous areas by country
- List of sovereign states
- Supranational union
- Examples are Australia and the United States.
- This occurred in Belgium in 1993. The Belgian regions had previously devolved powers.
- For instance, Canadian provinces and Swiss cantons possess substantially more powers and enjoy more protection against interference and infringements from the central government than most non-Western federations.
- Federal capital district, region or territory.
- Flanders and Wallonia are subdivided into five provinces each, which are mandated by the Constitution of Belgium. Provincial governance is the responsibility of the regional governments.
- The communities and regions of Belgium are separate government institutions with different areas of responsibility. The communities are organized based on linguistic boundaries, which are different from regional boundaries.
- autonomous area
- The Brazilian federal district has a level of self-ruling equal to the other main federal units.
- Article 18 of the 1988 Brazilian Constitution treats the municipalities as parts of the federation and not simply dependent subdivisions of the states.
- Sovereignty over territory actively disputed by another sovereign state or the international community.
- Adopted constitution accommodates existing regional governments, with the ultimate number and boundaries of the Federal Member States to be determined by the House of the People of the Federal Parliament.
- The Australian National Dictionary: Fourth Edition, pg 1395. (2004) Canberra. ISBN 978-0-19-551771-2.
- Crawford, J. (2006). The Creation of States in International Law. Oxford, Clarendon Press.
- Daniel, Kate; Special Broadcasting Service Corporation (2008). SBS World Guide: The Complete Fact File on Every Country, 16th ed. Prahran, Victoria, Australia: Hardie Grant Books. p. 827. ISBN 978-1-74066-648-0. p26. Archived from the original on 2021-07-27. Retrieved 2020-11-11.
- SBS World Guide 2008, p38
- SBS World Guide 2008, p46
- SBS World Guide 2008, p74
- "Decision of the Constitutional Court of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina on Canton 10". Constitutional Court of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Archived from the original on 31 July 2020. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
- SBS World Guide 2008, p101
- SBS World Guide 2008, p132
- SBS World Guide 2008, p239
- SBS World Guide 2008, p275
- SBS World Guide 2008, p328
- SBS World Guide 2008, p346
- SBS World Guide 2008, p460
- SBS World Guide 2008, p481
- SBS World Guide 2008, p486
- SBS World Guide 2008, p537
- SBS World Guide 2008, p549
- SBS World Guide 2008, p600
- "Chapter 3. The Federal Structure: Article 65". The Constitution of the Russian Federation. Archived from the original on 2018-12-25. Retrieved 2010-07-11.
- "The Federal Republic of Somalia – Harmonized Draft Constitution" (PDF). Federal Republic of Somalia. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 January 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
- "Guidebook to the Somali Draft Provisional Constitution". Archived from the original on 20 January 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
- Mednick, Sam (2020-02-23). "After 6 years of war, will peace finally come to South Sudan? | News". Al Jazeera. Archived from the original on 2020-08-20. Retrieved 2021-12-07.
- SBS World Guide 2008, p687
- "Sudan: Protocol on the resolution of Abyei conflict – Sudan". ReliefWeb. Archived from the original on 2021-10-21. Retrieved 2021-10-21.
- SBS World Guide 2008, p700
- SBS World Guide 2008, p760
- SBS World Guide 2008, p774
- SBS World Guide 2008, p798