Distinguishing Federation from Association

Federation vs Association

Federation and Association are two terms that, while they may seem to have similar meanings, actually represent entirely different concepts. The confusion arises because both terms involve the formation of a group of people or entities. However, the key to understanding the difference between a federation and an association lies in the definitions of both terms.

What is a Federation?

A Federation is defined as the coming together of a group of states or the formation of a political entity by a number of states. This political entity has a central government, but the states that make up the entity still retain control or authority over their own internal affairs. An example is the United States, which is a country formed by the union of 50 states that have granted power to a central authority, known as the federal government. Although the federal government exercises overall control, these states still maintain control over their home affairs. Another example is Australia. In a Federation, the division of power between states and the central or federal government is recognized in written form through the country’s constitution. The constitution also recognizes the independent status of the states or provinces, allowing them to manage their own affairs.

A Federation can be broadly defined as a large body of groups, entities, or states that have acknowledged the existence of a central authority governing them while still having the power to exercise control within and over their own groups.

What is an Association?

An Association, in contrast, does not convey the same sense of importance as the term Federation. It is a term used even in smaller societal circles, often referring to formal groups of people or individuals. An Association is defined as an organization or grouping of people for a common purpose or cause. Social clubs and societies often include the term Association in the title of the club or group. If a group of people shares a common interest or purpose and forms an organization to fulfill that purpose, then it is called an Association. Associations are connected to individuals who unite to further or achieve a common goal. The term Association lends a certain formality to the group of people, suggesting that the group is organized and has designations and responsibilities in pursuit of a common goal or interest. There is no separate control or central authority, as in a Federation.

Key Takeaways

  • A Federation refers to a group of states, organizations, or other legal entities, while an Association refers to a group of people or groups of people uniting for a common purpose.
  • In a Federation, there is a central authority or government that exercises overall control over the separate entities or states, which also retain control over their internal affairs. In an Association, there is no central authority or separate states, and it mostly involves individuals working together to achieve a common purpose or objective.
  • A Federation deals primarily with states, provinces, organizations, or legal entities, whereas an Association involves the union of people rather than states or organizations.
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard is an accomplished writer with expertise in creating engaging articles and content across various platforms. His dedication to research and crafting high-quality content has led to over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience. In his personal life, Gil enjoys connecting with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. His curiosity and eagerness to learn from others fuel his passion for communication. He believes that engaging with strangers can be both enlightening and enjoyable, making it easier to strike up conversations and expand one's horizons.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles