Federalism: good or bad?

In this article, Doris Carrion discusses the potential for federalism in Syria, the reaction from the citizens, and argues its overall beneficial value for the country. The PYD, a Kurdish faction in Syria, feeling unrepresented in peace talks, declared a federation over the lands they control in northern Syria. The U.S. and Russia believe federalism in Syria would allow each party to achieve some benefit. Regional powers, though, believe federalism would grant autonomy to minorities, which would have to be mirrored in their own countries. There is also a belief within Syria that federalism would lead to a partition of the state. (1)

 

BBC published an article regarding Trump’s criticism of the Federal Reserve. Trump believes that the interest rates set by the Federal Reserve are increasing at too fast of a rate, and that the reserve has “gone crazy”. This criticism reflects Trump’s belief of decentralizing the economy as a push towards a more market-led economic system. (2)

 

Could federalism be successful in a state ridden with small interstate conflict?

 

In times of conflict, states need strong central governments to keep control in their state. Syria is troubled with conflict within their state due to extremistists and unsatisfied regions. Some foreign powers suggest federalism as a solution to please all states; yet others regard this as a step towards an ununified state of Syria. This is similar to the condition Nigeria was in during its Civil War as one group wanted an autonomous federation. During this time, federalism would not have benefited Nigeria because the goal of the central government was uniformity, which required coming together as a state. Also, during the Civil War in the U.S., the federal government needed to be strong in order to keep control of the North while fighting to win back the South.

(1) James Tyler Dickovick, and Jonathan Eastwood. Current Debates in Comparative Politics. (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2019.)

(2) “Federal Reserve: Trump Sharpens Attack on Central Bank.” BBC News. (October 24, 2018.) https://www.bbc.com/news/business-45961465.

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