Centralization happens in a national setting when authority is transferred to a generally unitary sovereign nation state. The executive and/or legislative powers are then devolved to unit subdivisions to the greatest extent possible (state, county, municipal, and other local authorities).
In a federal setting, centralization occurs when specific powers are granted to the federal government and those powers are divided among different levels of government (national, state, territorial, or local).
In either a federal or national system, higher-level governments exercise more power than lower-level ones because they can make decisions on behalf of their constituent parts. For example, in the United States Congress makes laws at the federal level, states pass laws within their borders, and cities create ordinances that apply only within their boundaries. Higher-level governments can also decide what role, if any, they want to play in regulating their constituents' activities. For example, some countries with federal systems allow their states to regulate marijuana use while others do not.
Lower-level governments are given limited power by higher-level ones and are usually responsible for implementing policy at their level of administration. For example, a city may have power to make decisions about its transportation system but cannot make decisions on its own without approval from higher levels of government. Cities often partner with other municipalities or groups of people to help them reach decisions about issues that affect their shared resources.
A centralized government (sometimes spelled centralised government) is one in which power or legal authority is exercised or coordinated by a de facto political executive to whom federal states, municipal authorities, and smaller units are subject. Centralized governments include those of most modern countries. They are distinguished from more locally controlled forms of government such as anarchy or feudalism.
In simple terms, centralized government means that the decisions made at a national level affect all citizens. In contrast, a local government would have the power to make decisions that only apply within their own boundaries. Their actions could not be forced upon other people living miles away who had no say in how they were run. This distinction can be difficult to grasp if you are used to thinking about governments in general as being strong or weak, but it is important to understand that both local and national governments can be powerful or weak depending on how much control they are allowed by their constituents.
For example, some governments may have very little power over their subjects while others can exercise considerable influence through legislation and other means. A government that has many powers over its citizens is said to have full sovereignty whereas one with few powers is called powerless.
Many factors determine how much power a government will be allowed to have. Some countries are large and have different systems of government for their provinces or states. These are called federal countries and their governments are decentralized.
Centralisation is another well-known concept of modern administrative systems. Simply put, centralisation is the consolidation of power and authority in a single location. Centralisation refers to the process of transferring administrative authority from a lower level of government to a higher level of government. In modern administrative systems, this is usually done by creating new agencies or offices at the higher level that will have authority over a specific range of issues.
In the context of the federal government, centralisation means that certain powers are granted to one or more central authorities (usually the president or his/her representatives) who can delegate these powers to other bodies (such as agencies). Decentralisation is the opposite of centralisation: it means dividing up authority at a high level among many different bodies (usually governments departments or offices).
In general, centralisation can be a good thing because it allows for greater unity around policy goals and reduces the likelihood that policies will be implemented arbitrarily or contrary to purpose. On the other hand, decentralisation can lead to splintering of power and responsibility which may limit administrative efficiency.
Some examples of centralised institutions include ministries and departments within governments, governorships and prefectures within autonomous regions, and city halls and municipal councils within cities. Some examples of decentralised institutions include committees and boards within governments, agency heads within departments or divisions, and stakeholder groups within corporations.