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Intergovernmental Relations






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Intergovernmental Relations. Forum of Federations Intensive Course on Democratic Federalism. OVERVIEW. What are intergovernmental relations (IGR)? Why are they important? Patterns of intergovernmental relations The tasks of intergovernmental relations Some examples
Intergovernmental Relations

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Slide 1

Intergovernmental Relations

Forum of Federations

Intensive Course on

Democratic Federalism

Slide 2

OVERVIEW

  • What are intergovernmental relations (IGR)?

  • Why are they important?

  • Patterns of intergovernmental relations

  • The tasks of intergovernmental relations

  • Some examples

  • IGR in the Iraqi Federation

  • Observations and Conclusions

Slide 3

WHAT ARE INTERGOVERMENTAL RELATIONS (IGR)?

  • A federal constitution establishes the structure of government; IGR bring the structure to life

  • The constitution is the structure; IGR are the process – the way in which the necessary business of the federation gets done

  • Two types:

    • Relations between the central government and the provinces or states (vertical)

    • Relations among the provinces or the states themselves (horizontal)

  • No real watertight compartments – overlap, entanglement, sharing

  • Powers and responsibilities in modern federations cannot be cleanly divided between two orders of government; hence they have to work together – IGR

  • In some federations, powers and responsibilities are concurrent or shared in various ways – hence IGR

  • Involves both politicians and officials

Slide 4

WHY ARE THEY IMPORTANT?

  • Federal constitutions are usually difficult to amend, fairly rigid

  • For this and other reasons, governments must work with and against one another as circumstances change

  • In all cases, intergovernmental relations are an inevitable, vital and omnipresent feature of functioning federations

  • They constitute one of the most important instruments of flexibility in a federal political system. Some others are:

    • The utilization of concurrent jurisdiction

    • The intergovernmental delegation of legislative powers and administrative responsibilities

    • ‘Opting in’ and ‘opting out’ arrangements

    • Intergovernmental agreements and accords

Slide 5

PATTERNS IF INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS: I

  • Parliamentary federations:

    • Executive and legislature fused

    • Power concentrated in the executive within each government and dispersed among governments

    • ‘Executive federalism’

  • Congressional federations:

    • Executive and legislature separated

    • Power dispersed both within and among governments

    • IGR dispersed

Slide 6

PATTERNS OF INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS: II

  • How formal? How institutionalized?

  • Intergovernmental cooperation as a constitutional principle

  • The role of the second chamber/upper house

  • Councils, committees and other intergovernmental bodies

  • Informal norms, practices and meetings

Slide 7

THE TASKS OF INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS: I

  • Primary functions:

    • Putting the provisions of the Constitution into action

    • Resolving conflicts between the federal partners

    • Adapting governing and policy arrangements to changing circumstances

Slide 8

TASKS OF INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS: II

  • Fiscal/financial issues: sorting out revenue and expenditure arrangements

  • Negotiating fiscal transfers, typically from the federal to provincial and regional governments

  • Regulating intergovernmental competition, policy overlap, policy coordination

Slide 9

SOME EXAMPLES

  • Germany and South Africa: IGR as a constitutional principle:

    • Germany – Bundestreue – cooperative governance and loyalty to the federation

    • South Africa – Chapter 3 Cooperative Government – governments to “cooperate with one another in mutual trust and good faith.”

  • Germany: the upper house as an IGR institution

  • India, Malaysia: financial commissions and councils

  • Canada: informal processes of executive federalism

Slide 10

IGR IN THE IRAQI FEDERATION

  • To be discussed by the group


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