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A union of states in which each member state retains some independent control over internal and external affairs. Thus, for international purposes, there are separate states, not just one state. A federation, in contrast, is a union of states in which external affairs are controlled by a unified, central government.

CONFEDERATION, government. The name given to that form of government which the American colonies, on shaking off the British yoke, devised for their mutual safety and government.
     2. The articles of confederation, (q.v.) were finally adopted on the 15th of November, 1777, and with the exception of Maryland, which, however, afterwards also agreed to them, were speedily adopted by the United States, and by which they were formed into a federal @bod y, and went into force on the first day of March, 1781; 1 Story Const. Sec. 225; and so remained until the adoption of the present constitution, which acquired the force of the supreme law of the land on the first Wednesday of March, 1789. 5 Wheat. R. 420. Vide Articles of Confederation.

References in periodicals archive ?
Ocalan, Abdullah 2011 Democratic Confederalism. London: Transmedia Publishing.
In framing the models of democratic confederalism and democratic autonomy, Ocalan was inspired by many radical thinkers but perhaps to a greater extent by Murray Bookchin and his work on social ecology, libertarian municipalism and communalism.
It is of the essence to also shed some light on the notion of confederalism which is more often than not contrasted with that of federalism.
1557, 1560-61 (2003) (analyzing the constitutionality of treaty delegations to international bodies and suggesting that those delegations would violate separation of powers principles); David Golove, The New Confederalism: Treaty Delegations of Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Authority, 55 STAN.
Confederalism would assure a decentralisation of horizontally interdependent and economically self-reliant demoi.
Bart De Wever, the leader of the Flemish separatist party who won mayoral election in Antwerp- Belgium's second-largest city- used his victory to urge French-speaking Prime Minister Elio di Rupo to prepare for change, a clear call for confederalism.
In other stateless nations such as Quebec, Catalonia, or the Basque Country, nationalists have proclaimed the goal of national independence or 'sovereignty' but, when it comes to putting forward concrete proposals, have retreated into formulas like sovereignty-association, sovereignty-partnership, confederalism or the 'freely-associated state'.
The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights held that self-determination may be exercised through independence, self-government, local government, federalism, confederalism, unitarism, or another form of political action that gives force to the people's will without abrogating territorial integrity.
See generally David Golove, The New Confederalism: Treaty Delegations of Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Power, 55 STAN.
--Head of the Phalange party Amin Gemayel accuses opposition of pushing for confederalism.
Hizbullah and its ally Aoun also consulted after Bassil's meeting with Hariri, as anti-Syrian Maronite leader Gemayel accused the opposition of pushing for confederalism. Gemayel's ally, Samir Geagea, in turn said that the ruling majority has so far stood by the principles for which they won the June 7 elections.
(143.) Some Francophones describe confederalism as "le federalisme des cons [the federalism of idiots]." See DUTILLEUL, supra note 2, at 42, 161-62.

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