Forum of Federations

the global network of federalism

  • Governance: The Forum collaborates with local partners in a host country to run learning events and share information on a wide range of governance issues … (more).
  • Development Assistance: The Forum’s Development Assistance program includes training programs, courses, workshops and technical advice in those countries that are in transition to federalism or considering a transition to federalism … (more).
  • (full text what we do).

Homepage and Sitemap (scroll down);
Federalism; Where; by Country; Coming events; Educational; Publications; Reports; Newsletter; Partners;
Address: Forum of Federations Headquarters, 325 Dalhousie Street, Suite 700, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1N 7G2;

About Us:
The Forum of Federations is an independent organization that was initiated in Canada and is supported by many countries and governments. 

The Forum is concerned with the contribution federalism makes and can make to the maintenance and construction of democratic societies and governments. It pursues this goal by:

  • Building international networks and fostering the exchange of experience on federal governance.
  • Enhancing mutual learning and understanding among practitioners of federalism and
  • Disseminating knowledge and technical advice of interest to existing federations and of benefit to countries seeking to introduce federal elements into their governance structures and constitutions

The Forum works with countries and organizations of the North and of the South, with established federal countries and newly-emerging federations. In addition, the Forum works with countries that are exploring the possibilities of a federal political system.

The Forum is a partnership organization, not a funding source. It gives priority to projects with diversified partnerships related to both funding and implementation. The Forum currently has nine partners.

Introduction to Federalism:

  • There are roughly 25 federal countries in the world today, which together represent 40 per cent of the world’s population. They include some of the largest and most complex democracies – India, the US, Brazil, Germany and Mexico. Their system of government, while it can be complex, has made many federations amongst the most prosperous countries in the world with high standards of government services.
  • Historically, most federations were the result of previously separate entities – the American 13 colonies, the Swiss cantons – coming together to form a federal government. The entities would keep some powers to themselves but others were pooled with the central government of the new country. More recently, previously unitary countries – such as Spain, Belgium and South Africa – have adopted federal structures as a way to maintain common central government for some purposes while empowering regional governments for other purposes. In many very diverse societies, a federal system of government permits a recognition both of this diversity and of common interests and identity at the same time.

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