Differentiate between a nation and a state. Discuss the difference between a unitary and Federalist system. Provide pros and cons of both. Also, give geographical examples.
A State is a collection of people who have organized to form a community and are ruled by a political setup. These people may or may not share their ethnicity, culture, history or language. A prime example is the USA.
A nation on the other hand is a collection of people who form a community and have the same culture, ethnicity, language and history. Most of the European countries are formed on the basis on nation (Habermas, 1996).
In a unitary system the power rests in the hands of the central government. The units or the provinces has less power. The central government controls the defense, finance, foreign policy, education etc. The advantage of these kind of systems is that they decision making on policies related to education, health etc. are easy as the center has control over all decision making. The main disadvantage is that there might be an unjustly distribution of resources. The units or provinces would feel deprived of their due rights. Russia and China are examples of unitary form of governments.
In a federal system the center controls few powers like defense, currency, internal security etc. te units of provinces are more empowered as compared to unitary system. The advantage is that there is less uncertainty among the federated units. They can make decision about related to their own problems. The main disadvantage is that there could be different laws applicable in different federating units. People moving around the units have to be aware of the changing laws. The United States of America is the best example of a federal form of government. India also has a federal form of government.