A federated state (which may also be referred to as a state, a province, a region, a canton, a (bundes)land, a governorate, an oblast, an emirate or a
country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, residence or citizenship. A country may be an independent sovereign state or part of a larger state, as a n ...
) is a territorial and constitutional community forming part of a
. Such states differ from fully sovereign states, in that they do not have full sovereign powers, as the sovereign powers have been divided between the federated states and the central or federal government. Importantly, federated states do not have standing as entities of international law. Instead, the federal union as a single entity is the sovereign state for purposes of international law.Crawford, J. (2006). The Creation of States in International Law. Oxford, Clarendon Press. Depending on the constitutional structure of a particular federation, a federated state can hold various degrees of legislative, judicial and administrative jurisdiction over a defined geographic territory and is a form of regional government. In some cases, a federation is created from a union of political entities, which are either independent, or dependent territories of another sovereign entity (most commonly a colonial power). In other cases, federated states have been created out of the regions of previously
unitary state A unitary state is a State (polity), state governed as a single entity in which the central government is ultimately supreme. Unitary states stand in contrast with federations, also known as ''federal states''. Overview In unitary states, t ...
s. Once a federal constitution is formed, the rules governing the relationship between federal and regional powers become part of the country's constitutional law and not
international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally accepted in relations between nations. It establishes normative guidelines and a common conceptual framework to guide ...
. In countries with federal constitutions, there is a division of power between the central government and the component states. These entities - states, provinces, counties, cantons, Länder, etc. - are partially self-governing and are afforded a degree of constitutionally guaranteed
autonomy File:Новая Кукковка.jpg, The Republic of Karelia is an autonomous Federal subjects of Russia, federal subject in Russia, close to borders of Finland. Picture of Petrozavodsk, the capital of the Republic of Karelia. In developmenta ...
that varies substantially from one federation to another. Depending on the form the
decentralization Decentralization or decentralisation is the process by which the activities of an organization, particularly those regarding planning and decision making, are distributed or delegated away from a central, authoritative location or group. Concep ...

of powers takes, a federated state's legislative powers may or may not be overruled or vetoed by the federal government. Laws governing the relationship between federal and regional powers can be amended through the national or federal constitution, and, if they exist, Constitution#Distribution of sovereignty, state constitutions as well. In terms of internal politics, federated states can have republican or monarchy, monarchical forms of government. Those of republican form (federated republics) are usually called ''states'' (like States of the USA, states in the USA) or ''republics'' (like Republics of the USSR, republics in the former USSR). Those that have monarchical form of government (federated monarchies) are defined by traditional hierarchical ranks and titles of their monarchs (like Emirates of the United Arab Emirates, emirates in the United Arab Emirates, UAE).

Differences in terminology

Federated states typically, though not necessarily, use differences in the terminology of institutions to which there is an analogous federal-level equivalent. This list is a demonstration of common—though neither exhaustive nor universal—terminology differences between the state and federal levels:

List of constituents by federation

The "federated units" in the table below have inherent governmental authority in the federation's constitutional system, while the "other units" are delegated authority by the federal government or are administered directly by it.

See also

* Associated state * Constituent state * Federal district * Federal territory * Federation * List of autonomous areas by country * List of sovereign states * Supranational union * List of administrative divisions by country



{{Authority control Federalism Types of administrative division Lists of administrative divisions, Federated states Decentralization Constitutional state types