Just like the idea of the unitary nation state, the idea of federalism is a metaphor that illustrates how a group of citizens sees itself and how it organises the relationships through which it pursues its aims and aspirations in concert with others across the entire range of human relations. Most lawyers may be rather surprised by this way of describing federalism, especially if they consider federalism to apply to the state in a political sense. This is primarily because we fail to consider the federal aspects of the family, the neighbourhood or the workplace. In addition, we tend to see federalism only within the context of rational structures set up for the purpose of making decisions at the institutional level and to consider that federalism depends on the existence of a monistic organisation of the institutions and of normative forms. However, to consider federalism to be nothing more than the allocative result of a document called the Constitution is to forget that federalism includes both tests and practices at both implicit and explicit levels. And that these tests and practices are in a constant state of flux in the everyday interaction that comes about in a multiplicity of social contexts. But a kaleidoscopic view of federalism, the concept underlying this article, recognises these various dimensions and these mobile distributions of authority. Ultimately, it is a federalism of aspirations that pertains to the relationship between an actor and a structure in the process of construction of self that is embarked upon by citizens.