Patron:
The Hon Sir Gerard Brennan AC KBE
former Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia
Conference Committee:
Suri Ratnapala, Professor of Public Law, UQ
Thomas John, Chair, European Focus Group, LCA
Nicholas Aroney, Reader in Law, UQ
Hendryk Flaegel, International Law Section, LCA


Federalism as a political philosophy

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The meaning of federalism, as a political movement, and of what constitutes a 'federalist', varies with country and historical context.[citation needed] Movements associated with the establishment or development of federations can be either centralising or decentralising.[citation needed] For example, at the time those nations were being established, factions known as 'federalists' in the United States and Australia were those who advocated th creation of strong central government. Similarly, in European Union politics, federalists are mostly those who seek greater EU integration. In contrast, in Spain and post-war Germany, federal movements have sought decentralisation: the transfer of power from central authorities to local units. In Canada, where Quebec separatism has been a political force for several decades, the 'federalist' force is dedicated to keeping Quebec inside Canada.

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