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Intergovernmental Relations


OVERVIEW. What are intergovernmental relations (IGR)?Why are they important?Patterns of intergovernmental relationsThe tasks of intergovernmental relationsSome examplesIGR in the Iraqi FederationObservations and Conclusions. WHAT ARE INTERGOVERMENTAL RELATIONS (IGR)?. A federal constitu

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Intergovernmental Relations

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Intergovernmental Relations

Forum of Federations

Intensive Course on

Democratic Federalism


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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IGR IN THE IRAQI FEDERATION

  • To be discussed by the group