Talk:Federated state

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I've overhauled the article as it stood. However, it still needs an articulation of what a federal state is, how it bother differs from and is similar to a sovereign state, and how it relates to the federal/national level. Silverhelm 14:19, 25 September 2005 (UTC).

Re: Revert of Jan.8, 2009[edit]

i. state vs. province: The "states" (i.e. supra-national entities ) are not provinces in the sense of province as a division of a centralized state for the purpose of administration (even though the term "Province" may apply, e. g. in Canada), but, as a rule, they were historic units that joined to form a nation state while retaining some of their sovereign rights. A centralized state's province may actually have been equipped by the central government with greater admin. powers and more autonomy than some 'states' in fact still possess, but this appears irrelevant. Thus the term province should not appear in the definition of "State"

ii. strong vs.strongly: Germany's federal constitution is not a strong constitution, but the constitution is strongly federal. --Marschner (talk) 13:46, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

sovereign vs. creatures of the national government[edit]

Which are which? john k (talk) 21:05, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

sovereign tribes in the US[edit]

The US recognizes the sovereignty of 310 tribal reservations as well. Should this be referenced? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:21, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

Weird article[edit]

Is there such a thing as a "State (administrative division)"? Given that all states are sovereign entities that exist of and on their own and not as an administrative division of another entity, this seems impossible.

Article Moved[edit]

The title of the article has been moved from State (administrative division) to Federated state. The former title did not adequately reflect the subject of the article. States, as the term is used in this context, are not administrative divisions of a larger government. On the contrary, the federal government is an administrative conglomeration of smaller states.

Of the sovereign states that subdivide their country into so-called "states", only Palau is unitary rather than federal--Which means the appendix "administrative division" is only relevant to this one individual country. The rest of such sovereign states don't fit under that heading. The article itself addressed this technicality, but the title pertains only to states as administrative regions or provinces, which there is only one case of. Palau is perhaps the exception rather than the rule.

Therefore, I moved the page State (administrative subdivison) to Federated state to better incorporate the subject that we're trying to address. Night w (talk) 12:59, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

I support this change to the article name. Good work Night w! I am quite certain that this article (Federated state) will evolve over time as other editors add to it, I think the general direction is great, and will be much less of a muddle to build on than was the old State (administrative subdivison) moniker. Thanks for being bold. N2e (talk) 20:56, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
Thanks N2e! I was beginning to get nervous regarding what other editors might feel about this move. Thanks for picking up on that last notation--I hadn't meant to leave that out. I hope you don't mind, but I moved it to the paragraph that addresses the formation of a federation. I think it better fits in with the context there...Night w (talk) 06:50, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
I'm fine with that change too. I think it reads better now with the earlier placement. N2e (talk) 12:51, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

To anyone else that might be concerned about the move, I'm still not sure what to do about the states of Palau and states of Burma problem. Both those articles contained links to this page, but the title no longer fits with their unique administrative states. Options are putting them on this page under a special heading citing that they are not federative; just forgetting about them altogether; or re-creating the State (administrative division) page just for those two--which would create some serious problems regarding wikilinks from other pages (as most pages still link to State (administrative division)). Anybody got any ideas? Night w (talk) 06:50, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

Let's think on it for a while and allow some time for other editors to weigh in who may have interest. One other possibility might be to, on this page, have disambig-type-top-of-article-links to the "non-federated states of Paulau and Burma", then remove the links from those pages that come to State (administrative division). N2e (talk) 12:51, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
BTW, over time, we are going to need to make this a much better article by adding the requisite verifiable, reliable secondary source citations for the many claims of the article (as it is today), as well as for the substantive claims of the explicitly non-federal nature of Paluau and Burma. N2e (talk) 12:56, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

Article needs substantial citations[edit]

This article is a good and useful one; but per WP:V we should not be sourcing assertions with other Wikipedia articles, nor should we have substantive assertions that are unsourced by reliable secondary sources with inline citation. I have tagged just a few of the assertions that need cited with {{citation needed}}. Anyone have a good book that might provide a comprehensive view into state and provincial polities, as of a recent point in time? N2e (talk) 01:51, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

Concerning the political divisions (numbers and types), is it possible to just state at the bottom (or anywhere) "Data taken from the following secondary sources..." ? The sources are the same for each entry on the list, so do we need to inline on each one of them individually or is it possible to just make a collective footnote?
Night w (talk) 04:01, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
That's great if you have a couple of sources. I will help do the work to write up the citations in the recommended format and then there can be a short reftag anywhere we need to repeat a citation. However, first it would be helpful to get a bit more specific, else we run the risk of getting a {{Nonspecific}} tag later on that someone would need to clear up. I'm for just getting the job done now. There is a citation format that will allow us to list the (only two?) references below and then just clarify detail (e.g., page number, or terminal URL tag into the CIA Factbook, or ...) above, or in footnotes.
So, 1) do you have this book? and 2) can you provide page numbers of where the various countries "states" are delineated within the book? If all assertions being made in this article can be sourced from the book, 3)why do we need the CIA Factbook at all? If we do need to utilize the CIA F. as a source, 4) can you provide me an example of a more country-specific URL for one or two of the countries? Then I can try to cite a few of the lines in the article--using the book and maybe the CIA F.--and see what you think. (I'll be wikibreaking for a bit the next few days but should be able to get on this after that, assuming you can help me get specific on a per-country basis.) N2e (talk) 05:09, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

I have the book. I guess we don't really need the CIA website at all...some people just like sources at their fingertips I suppose. Here are the page numbers. I can get the URLs from the CIA Fb website if you think we need them. Thanks.

  • Australia: p38
  • Austria: p46
  • Brazil: p101
  • Germany: p275
  • India: p328
  • Malaysia: p460
  • Mexico: p481
  • FSM: p486
  • Nigeria: p537
  • Sudan: p687
  • USA: p774
  • Argentina: p26
  • Belgium: p74
  • Canada: p132
  • Ethiopia: p239
  • Iraq: p346
  • Pakistan: p549
  • Russia: p600
  • Switz: p700
  • UAE: p760

Night w (talk) 05:55, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

That's great. I'll work on adding citations when I return. Strictly speaking, no second source is needed. However, if you could provide a full URL into a specific part of the CIA Factbook (so no search is needed) for one or two of the countries, I may add those cites also for the reason you mention. It will also prevent us from getting a {{Onesource}} tag on the article later on. N2e (talk) 15:24, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
This URL here lists administrative divisions for every state alphabetically. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Night w (talkcontribs) 04:04, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
I have added citations to both of the sources provided above, with page numbers for the hardcopy reference. I didn't see a page no. for Venezuela; could you add that? N2e (talk) 18:37, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

Should we rename "Countries made up of states"[edit]

A map displaying today's official federations

The section titled Countries made up of states is clearly only about those federated states that are referred to in English language as states. That is to say, there are clearly other subdivisions of countries that are referred to in the CIA Factbook as "states" in English (e.g., Burma, Ethiopia, Palau, etc.), as a translation of some national language term for such administrative subdivisions. To make it explicit why only twelve are listed here, should we perhaps change the section title to Countries made up of federated states? Or is there some other way to clarify this? N2e (talk) 21:12, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

Yes, that sounds like a good change. And then, if/when an editor were to assert the additions of Palau and Burma to the article, things will be very defined and they could then perhaps do so under a separate section. And thankyou for doing the inlines--much appreciated! I've put the page ref for Venezuela in. Night w (talk) 09:06, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
Okay, done. Feel free to change the italization. I wasn't really quite sure what to emphasize there but I'm confident of your judgment on the matter. Also, I should note that the CIA reference does not, strictly speaking, make any claim about which states are "federated" and which are merely "administrative subdivisions." What it does do is clarify that the English term state is used to describe the sub-entities of several countries that we do not claim in this article are federated states. Do you perchance have a single clear source that does make such a claim? N2e (talk) 11:00, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
This website lists federal countries and mentions every entry on our list (and some more that I believe to be incorrect...such as South Africa?) Is the fact that its list is not entirely consistent with ours a problem when it comes to citing it as a source?
Otherwise, each of the page-listings of the SBS:WG source mention whether each government is federal or unitary. For example, under the heading Administration in the Malaysia entry, the opening sentences run: "Malaysia has a federal form of government, with some legislative powers resting with the states...The federation of Malaysia consists of the eleven states of peninsular Malaysia and the two states of Sarawak and Sabah..." Mexico: "Mexico is a federal republic comprising 31 states and a federal district..." Night w (talk) 09:42, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
I don't think it is wrong to cite it as a source, but to the extent that it claims some countries are Federated states, rather than unitary, differs from other sources then it would behoove editors of the article to clarify either a) there is controversy between sources; not all sources agree with countries x, y, and z; or b) find out why the forumfed source does so (for example, does forumfed just makes anyone a member who "joins up" and "pays their dues"? This is not an unusual practice for many intergovernmental orgs, or for many industry associations of private companies for that matter.) or c) does forumfed have some different definition of federalism than our other sources, or what we are using in the article. N2e (talk) 22:06, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
Oh I see--good call. If I'd ventured further, it simply states that this organisation is working with the South African government. Putting it under "Federal countries" is certainly misleading, but it shouldn't contradict the main sources. I've added it. Feel free to move it--I didn't really know where to put it. Night w (talk) 03:54, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

Constituent state[edit]

I just came across this article stub: Constituent state. It's badly written, uncited and very vague. It needs substantial work, but I'm also not sure about the subject it's referring to... Has anyone ever heard the term constituent state used? The text on the article seems to be referring to a multitude of different kinds of polities. I was going to propose its deletion, but I think it might be able to provide the solution to the Palau problem I talked about in the above section.

So...if it is a viable term, can it refer to states as administrative divisions? Or is it used as a more general term that can also include federated states? I also like the reference to the Somali states and Cyprus, altho the use on those could be controversial. I thought I'd check to see what others think about this before I make a move on it... Night w (talk) 02:28, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

Terminology used[edit]

There's a problem with this article in regards to the terms various governments use. This article should refer to federated political entities--whatever terminology they choose to use. The division on this page between the governments that use "state" and those that use something else is not conducive to what I had intended the article be about. Surely state is the correct term to use for federated units, but obviously not all of them use it. So is the title "federated state" a problem--should it instead be "federated unit" or something similar? I'm inclined to stick with state, and just combine the two sections into one regardless of what terminology they use. Night w (talk) 04:50, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

"Federal subject" might be a better alternative. Night w (talk) 13:26, 1 April 2010 (UTC)
Agree with "Federated unit"Gvogas (talk) 18:08, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

New table[edit]

Obviously somebody has put a lot of effort into this, so I apologise for being picky, but I had to remove the flags because the table format did not allow for them. It looked messy and was incredibly awkward to read. Night w (talk) 21:33, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Hey, I was the guy of the effort. I made the table on the pattern of other related articles, like List of autonomous areas by country and I think that the confusion is just because of some countries having many federated units. I think that with a better format (like spacing the lines), we could use the information. The symbols of a subnational entity may not be relevant on articles about a sovereign state, but it is on a article about themselves. That's why I reverted your move for discussion. Regards.Gvogas (talk) 21:44, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
A possible solution would be to display the federated units divided into 4 or 5 columns. Salut, --IANVS (talk | cont) 21:50, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. With a better format we can use this information without looking messy. Salut.Gvogas (talk) 21:59, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

For example:

Federation Federated units Other units
 Argentina [1]
23 provinces:
1 autonomous city
 Autonomous City of Buenos Aires

--IANVS (talk | cont) 22:09, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Really nice. That looks good for me.Gvogas (talk) 22:12, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
That looks great. Night w (talk) 02:49, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
Nice job. Problem is solved for me.Gvogas (talk) 10:53, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

Other Units column.[edit]

How important is this? As it stands it seems to be confused, with no idea of what it is meant to do. Why in this article do places like the Belgian communities need to be recognized? Why do we need to know about the municipalities of Brazil? I think that all irrelevant data should be removed. I believe the column should be used for places like the autonomous cities, which are currently in the main column. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 17:39, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

It is not irrelevant data at all! Federations are not always of similar constitutive units. The "Other Units" columns account for those that are considered part of the federated state, yet have a different legal status than the "standard" federated units. Salut, --IANVS (talk) 19:52, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Ok, taking a second look to the actual contents of the others column, I'm not so sure it is that important in the context of this article. In fact, most "different" federated units are listed in the main column, while the second is reserved mostly to dependencies and autonomous territories. let's wait for more opinions. Salut, --IANVS (talk) 19:57, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
I agree that it is useful IVANS, just agree with your second point about bad current usage :) Chipmunkdavis (talk) 20:55, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Agree, get rid of it. Night w (talk) 07:54, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Why don't we leave it, but blank what is in there and move places like autonomous federal cities into it? Chipmunkdavis (talk) 13:18, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

Redid alot of it, although for some places (Like Russia) their own divisions make their inclusion complicated. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 05:36, 7 August 2010 (UTC)

Certainly in the U.S., D.C. and the Palmyra Atoll have a different legal status than the 50 states, but some of the unincorporated territories are fairly state-like, pretty much equivalent to D.C. It seems more confusing than useful to draw the line at incorporated vs. unincorporated. -- Beland (talk) 07:07, 22 August 2010 (UTC)

Actually, this article is about federated units, referencing which states form part of which federation. It's not about how one federation divides its territory. Since the U.S. territories are not one of the 50 states in the union, they're not relevant here. I'm still thinking this column should just be blanked. No mention of dependencies seems necessary in this context. Nightw 07:24, 22 August 2010 (UTC)
I dunno. It might be useful to show that some areas can belong to a federation yet not to one of its constituent states. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 09:04, 22 August 2010 (UTC)
Well, Federation makes the distinction between entities that have some inherent authority, and those that are delegated power from the federal government. The chart there showing which units are major and which are minor makes more sense that what this chart currently shows, so I'm going to fix this one. (I'm halfway wondering whether this chart puts some minor entities under the major column due to simple HTML layout errors, anyway.) -- Beland (talk) 16:17, 22 August 2010 (UTC)


I agree with the last opinion of the previous discussion: there is a distinction between entities that have some inherent authority, and those that are delegated power from the federal government. But the table make a mistake when it put all the entities that have a common name in the same position. I can't talk about the federal cities/districts on other countries, but the Brazilian Federal District (Brasilia) has the exactly same self-ruling of a state (only exception being that it can't be subdivised into municipalities), making it a main federal unit. Some reasons predcted on our constitution (relation compared with the states):

  • Equal number of senators;
  • Equal right of deputates representants (the number is proportional to its population, with a minimum of 8 and a maximun of 70)
  • It has its own state government with legislation, governor and court (only the name change to district legislation), in other words, the duties that are designated for the states are not done directly by the union;
  • For all these reasons, it is very common to hear people saying that Brazil has 27 states.

The constitution presents a minor federal unit type, the federal territories (with fewer congressmen and governor apointed by the president), but this division is not used since 1988, when 3 of the last 4 territories gained statehood (Amapá, Roraima and Rondônia) - the Territory of Fernando de Noronha was incorporated as a municipality of Pernambuco.Zé Carioca (talk) 16:04, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

Merge with Federation, Federacy[edit]

I see some overlap here. However, I see that this article, Federated state, was formerly titled State (administrative division). --JBrown23 (talk) 23:57, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

Republika Srpska[edit]

Why is Republika Srpska shown as of equivalent status to Bosna-Hecegovina? Is this a 'de facto' recognition? If so this should be made clear, as 'de jure' this statelet has no formal international recognition, nor does it 'contribute' in any meaningful sense to state of which it geographically- speaking forms a part. (talk) 17:00, 21 February 2014 (UTC) in any formal sense

The country of Bosnia and Herzegovina has a constituent state named the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. CMD (talk) 18:14, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

La donne e mobile.[edit]

Shouldn't the (post-WWII to present date) Italy be in this article? They have the US-created and american-modelled three-tiered constitutional system, 20 regions, circa 110 provinces, and circa 8100 municipalities (comune). Regions, like Veneto are very much independent of Rome. (talk) 14:34, 9 September 2014 (UTC)


For Nepal should be listed the seven new provinces.----Bancki (talk) 13:14, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

Buenos Aires and Brasilia[edit]

If Brasilia belongs to the 'states' column because there are so little differences between the 'distrito federal' and other sates, so should be Buenos Aires City (internal autonomy, representation in the federal senate equivalent to other states)----Bancki (talk) 13:19, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

Horizontal line is missing between Bosnia & Brazil[edit]

There should be a horizontal line between Bosnia and Brazil. Perhaps an editor with experience could add the line. Eagle4000 (talk) 14:47, 3 April 2017 (UTC)

It's there on my browser, if I understand you correctly. Have you tried a different browser, computer or tablet to see if it's there or not? - BilCat (talk) 14:55, 3 April 2017 (UTC)