A concept in object-oriented programming which means the redistribution of software functionality among smaller, well-defined components. When every component in a software system has a clearly defined job description, it is easier to locate any piece of functionality by looking up the component whose scope of operation includes it. This also makes adding new functionality simpler, as it's often clear which component should take the new responsibility upon itself.

In order for such a software system to operate, components acquire services from each other to supply their own services. The requests are done via well-defined contracts of supply and demand. The benefit to having such autonomous self-contained components is that it's relatively easy to extract them from one software environment and reuse them in another.

Decentralization is the ideal that political systems, the economy, and society itself should be structured so as to keep decision-making power at the individual and local level.

Proponents of decentralization believe that the current trends of globalization and consolidation of wealth and power are antithetical to grassroots democracy and social justice and ultimately lead to environmental destruction.

Adapted from the Ten Key Values of various Green parties.

De*cen`tral*i*za"tion (?), n.

The action of decentralizing, or the state of being decentralized.

"The decentralization of France."

J. P. Peters.


© Webster 1913.

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