Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
A central government is the government of a nation-state and is a characteristic of a unitary state. This is the same thing as a federal government which may have distinct powers at various levels authorized or delegated to it by its member states, though the adjective 'central' is sometimes used to describe it. The structure of central governments varies. Many countries have created autonomous regions by delegating powers from the central government to governments at a subnational level, such as a regional, state or local level. Based on a broad definition of a basic political system, there are two or more levels of government that exist within an established territory and govern through common institutions with overlapping or shared powers as prescribed by a constitution or other law.
Usual responsibilities of this level of government which are not granted to lower levels are maintaining national security and exercising international diplomacy, including the right to sign binding treaties. Basically, the central government has the power to make laws for the whole country, in contrast with local governments. For definition of levels of government see also general government (in economics).
Generally, the difference between a central government and a federal government is that the autonomous status of self-governing regions exists by the sufferance of the central government and are often created through a process of devolution. As such they may be unilaterally revoked with a simple change in the law. An example of this was done in 1973 when the Northern Ireland Constitution Act 1973 abolished the government of Northern Ireland which had been created under the Government of Ireland Act 1920. It is common for a federal government to be brought into being by agreement between a number of formally independent states and therefore its powers to affect the status of the balance of powers is significantly smaller (i.e. the United States). Thus federal governments are often established voluntarily from 'below' whereas devolution grants self-government from 'above'.
Usage examples of "central government".
The warlords control the country beyond Kabul, and the central government has little ability to control or even coordinate their actions.
Not to be outdone, the Turks have ramped up their smuggling, with the central government now taking an active role in regulating (and taxing) the trade.
PRECARIOUS SITUATION OF A CENTRAL GOVERNMENT LOCKED UP WITHIN A LOCAL JURISDICTION.
Americans brought, or at least accompanied, the Philippines into the twentieth century and erected the apparatus of its central government.
Ground defense had of course been tracking them in, and whatever central government still existed ought to know they had arrived.
The cubs felt theyd wonsimply by living long enough to have left the musty tang of half-alive, history-old Central Government worlds far behind them and to be breathing a wind that blew over an ocean no human being had seen before.
The cubs felt they'd won -- simply by living long enough to have left the musty tang of half-alive, history-old Central Government worlds far behind them and to be breathing a wind that blew over an ocean no human being had seen before.
Best of the lot are the Carabinieri, paramilitary police of the central government.
We have resources, yes, but they have never been properly exploited, and now we have lost the support of the central government--at the very moment when we have the freedom to control our own destiny, while that fool of a president we have gets drunk and abuses women in his palace.
We have resources, yes, but they have never been properly exploited, and now we have lost the support of the central government—.
With all due respect, I would point out to you that there's a distinct difference between political debates and strategies, whose objective is simply to obtain the most equitable balance between long-held, hard-won local freedoms and a new central government, and the cold-blooded murder of innocent civilians by a collection of homicidal criminals.
Or do we expect the Star Kingdom to be a ramshackle, shambling disaster like the Solarian League, where every system has local autonomy, every planet has veto power over any proposed legislation, the central government has no real control over its own house, and all actual authority lies in the hands of bureaucratic monsters like Frontier Security?
Besides, the Mafia constituted a sort of private army of mercenaries that could be hired by landowners - or the central government - to keep the peasants in order.