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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.

See: affiliation, alliance, association, band, body, cartel, chamber, coalescence, committee, compact, concert, confederacy, consolidation, contribution, federation, integration, league, merger, partnership, party, pool, society, sodality

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 ?
And Ocalan's more recent writings on democratic confederalism have sought to address this issue.
Democratic confederalism, available at: http://www.
Following the African Commission of Human and Peoples' Rights, internal self-determination would encompass local government, federalism, confederalism, unitarism, or another form of political action that gives force to the people's will without abrogating territorial integrity.
During a late-night television interview, Gemayel said, "The March 8 [opposition] coalition has been pushing for confederalism in Lebanon.
The great need now is to work out some new concept of confederalism or something like that, because if we have some 185 independent sovereign states--members of the UN--today, if the process continues we'll end up with 300.
It is probably more accurate to come away from a TEU reading with the impression that the members committed themselves to confederalism and intergovernmentalism rather than supranational political union as such.
Confederalism provided the structures for the peaceful coexistence of the various ethnic groups in Africa.
Second is the lack of understanding of Madison's full appreciation of confederalism, that the states and national government would be sovereign in their particular universes.
As to these heavy-duty problems of social conflict, the fact is that territorial federalism or confederalism provides the best hope.
Kurds may decide they prefer federalism or confederalism, or they may seek independence for one or multiple Kurdish states to be equal to their neighbors on the world stage.
Yet, he did see in Canada a spirit of 'genuine confederacy' that might offer 'a model confederalism in a world that is seeking alternatives to the outdated and highly dangerous nation-state'.
Several Scottish scenarios are possible: federalism, confederalism, sovereignty association, different expressions of statehood, and of course, full independence (Keating, 2009).

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