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In March the services of the Pakistan Army were requisitioned to carry out the biggest ever third party validation by conducting a physical survey of Primary Schools in the Province of Punjab. The scrutiny provided the Government with an insight into the crumbling system, enabling us to take far reaching measures for reinvigorating it both quantitatively and qualitatively. The role of the Pakistan Army, which is a federal agency, in the social sector of a province is a classical example of promoting national cohesion and integration between the federating units and the federal Government.

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The debate between federal and provincial powers raged strong for decades in Pakistan without any signs of abating. In the form of Non Government Organizations we have found nuclei for local authority, substituting distantly placed inert centers of centralized authority. The NGOs and Community Based Organizations are closer to the heart of people because they are exceedingly participative and consultative in their very nature. Government has introduced a number of measures through which public money is actually spent by NGOs.

There are other models through which we seek assistance of NGOs to assist the Government in the management of social service units such as schools. The results have delighted the community and have given confidence to the growing NGOs. The appearance of large NGOs that almost parallel the governments in size, and far exceed in efficiency, is now awaited. Unlike developed countries, where the growth of NGOs was spontaneous, in Pakistan, the government is actually and actively promoting this development.

We hope that they would further resolve the question of extent and legitimacy of provincial and federal governments. Accountability in the functioning of government has always been understood as an instrument of efficiency and resource conservation. But the classical methodology to achieve effective accountability through the creation of special institutions has been found to be skin deep only.

Accountability in Pakistan had remained rather weak and the present government had to transform the character of management to show that accountability is a process involving not one or two institutions but through a multi-pronged attack involving the entire government. Not only through making accountability the mission statement, but also through involving the community-based organizations have we been able to instill a real fear for the deviants. We created Committees for every small locality with wide statutory powers to serve as watch dogs for government functionaries.

Statutory bodies have also been created at Federal and Provincial levels to unnerve the delinquent functionaries if not to threaten them. We have succeeded in affecting cracks in the empires and fiefdoms in bureaucratic realms, if not in bringing them down. Bureaucracy was traditionally seen in Pakistan as the tool of Federal Government to carry out errands in the Provinces.

MPIfG Working Paper 05/8, Fritz W. Scharpf: Can German Federalism Reform Itself?

It was not through its statutory or structural role that bureaucracy had assumed such a role, but through the abuse of the civil service by consecutive shortsighted rulers. By effectively alienating government functionaries from political maneuvering, we have achieved a level of neutrality and impartiality. In the meantime, large scale cleansing efforts have led to the identification of thousands of functionaries and politicians, backed by concrete evidence, and legal proceedings have been instituted against them.

While taking action on such a large scale, unprecedented in our national history, we have to guard ourselves against even an impression of political victimization.


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The process has been kept transparent, and the accused individuals have every right to seek recourse to the judiciary. The judiciary in Pakistan has maintained its untainted prestige despite political storms and upheavals. In a federal structure, the judiciary does not only perform the function of conflict resolution among individuals and corporations but also among the federating units and between the units and the Federal Government. It helps clarify and interpret the constitution and through its creative judgments evolves and defines the functions of each entity in the federally governed arena.

The judiciary in Pakistan has carried out this role with deftness and wisdom setting up new standards of excellence. The future of federalism in Pakistan has to be protected and made secure. We have to assess the possible threats and we have to thwart them. The Hydra of terrorism and fanaticism in the garb of ethnicity and religious sectarianism has raised its ugly head in many countries. Pakistan has ceaselessly made efforts to curb this menace through rule of law, equitable distribution of resources, and reforms in the education system.

Strict measures have been taken wherever necessary. Ethnic and territorial disturbances have been studied to identify the feelings of deprivation. Instead of concentrating on the elimination of such feelings, we have put in all our efforts to remove the deprivation wherever it exists. In most of the cases, uneven development in different units, segregation of communities, poverty and unemployment have led to such feelings. These issues are now being addressed by pooling in all resources of Federal and Provincial governments.

At the same time we are alive to the opportunities for federalism the new age offers.

Federalism in the United States - US government and civics - Khan Academy

The globalization of culture and the ubiquitous penetration of communication and information technologies have reduced the territorial aspect of problems so often faced by federal states. The common threats faced by mankind have also helped shrink the distances. Environment, terrorism, military adventurism, obscurantism and infringement of fundamental rights are dreaded and despised by all.

They have brought the peoples of the world even closer. The gradual homogenization of cultural values like humanism, saving the earth, respect for human life, property and honor, and individual freedom, have developed common grounds among people living in different provinces — grounds whose cementing strength is far greater than the disrupting centrifugal forces of petty vested interests. We therefore look forward into the 21st century with new hopes. I would be failing in my duty to the fellow participants if I do not stress the threats that federal states like mine are likely to encounter in the next millennium.

These threats include the shrinking pie of resources available to developing countries.

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Financial constraints weaken the relationships amongst units and also promote centrifugal tendencies. Other threats are ethnic, racial and territorial prejudices and false prides. The international community has to attend to these threats and take measures to resolve them through long-term plans. Otherwise, such tendencies are likely to destabilize the fabric of such countries in Asia and Africa, and threaten international peace and stability.

Thank you. Whether they be rich or poor, large or small, all countries of the world are faced with the same challenge: how to manage their growing interdependence at the global level while retaining the ability to respond to the very specific needs of their populations at the national, provincial or local level. The beauty of federalism is that it offers the best of both worlds. Because it provides federal states with the freedom to develop the specific policies and services that are required in the regions themselves.

But at the same time, it allows these states to reap the benefits of size: that is, economies of scale and greater influence in the world.

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In the short time I have before you, let me illustrate this point with a few Canadian examples. They tailor the policies and programs under their jurisdiction to meet the specific needs and demands of their own populations. At the same time, however, by making it possible for our country as a whole to pool its resources, federalism offers Canadians as well a balanced formula for sharing the benefits of economic growth. As a result, no matter where they live, Canadians enjoy reasonably comparable standards of education, health care and social assistance. This has been accomplished through a national network of social insurance plans and equalizing transfers to less wealthy provinces.

This is true in terms of government support for research and development, for example, where economies of scale have made the federal government by far the key catalyst in the country. It is also true in the way Canada is a major player as national governments meet the evolving challenges of global governance. For instance, it is one thing to have a seat in the major fora of the world; it is another thing altogether to make effective use of that seat.

In that evolution, you either have the wherewithal to ensure that your interests and views are taken into account or you often find that you must accept the consequences of decisions made by others. Or consider the Group of Twenty G , an important new grouping that was created less than two weeks ago. One has to ask if any one of the three countries represented here on this panel would have been invited to be part of the G were it not for the size and influence they have because the constituent states that make them up are part of dynamic federations, as opposed to independent actors.

ZEI Studies in European Economics and Law

Needless to say, without the size and influence that Canadians enjoy as part of a federal system, not only would we not have been chosen to chair the G, we might not even have been included in its deliberations. The point is, thanks to federalism, Canadian diversity speaks with a credible voice that is listened to on the world stage. A third major challenge of globalization is the need for flexibility.

The fact is, globalization puts a premium on innovation and adaptability to rapid change.


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Here again, federalism offers Canadians a comparative advantage as a result of the balance it provides between competition and co-operation between governments. By its very nature, our federal system is open to different approaches among provinces in the design and development of policies, programs and services for Canadians.

This competitive federalism lends itself well to experimentation, innovation and new ideas. It also allows different governments to share best practices and to learn from each other. In the right hands it encourages a race to the top, a quest for excellence in meeting the needs of Canadians. And when governments co-operate together, the net result is greater choice and better programs and services for all Canadians.