The Allocation of Powers and Responsibilities in Federal Systems: Critical Issues in Constitutional and Political Theories
Abstract. How are powers divided in federal systems? What are the indices and or parameters involved? To what extent do the indices and parameters constitute epistemological problems? What really are the fundamental problems of federalism, in both theory and practice? Furthermore, to what extent does the understanding of the problems constitute in themselves critical issues in constitutional and political theories of federalism? Answers to these questions remain the preoccupation of the paper. Drawing experiences largely from Nigeria and the United States of America, contrasting experiences of “high-tech’ and low-tech” federal systems, the paper focuses on issues of theoretical construction that are significant to the dominant problem of allocation of powers, and seeks to provide penetrating insights into the understanding of what in literature is being referred to as “the theory of federalism”, Oyovbaire (1985), among others. The method of data collection is secondary and scattered in sources that are directly and indirectly related to the dominant questions and issues raised. The technique of data analysis is descriptive, philosophical and critical, all reinforcing the framework of thought in which the whole study is placed. The paper concludes that the issues and fundamentals of federalism in both constitutional and political theories should be approached from the developmental perspective and through this, it is hoped, federalism will restore its vitality where it has been battered and its direction where the focus appears uncertain, unclear and muddled-up.
Keywords: Federalism. Powers and Responsibilities. Power matrix .Constitutional and Political Theories.