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The Global Promise of Federalism

The Global Promise of Federalism

Grace Skogstad
David Cameron
Martin Papillon
Keith Banting
Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 320
  • Book Info
    The Global Promise of Federalism
    Book Description:

    The Global Promise of Federalismhonours the life and work of Richard Simeon, one of Canada's foremost experts on federalism.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-1919-7
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-2)
  4. 1 The Global Promise of Federalism
    (pp. 3-16)

    This volume honours the life and work of Richard Simeon, and its contents perfectly reflect the man. The title of the book —The Global Promise of Federalism— clearly suggests the primary focus of the essays in this volume, but the spirit that lies behind the selection of the title is perhaps less evident on its face. The spirit is caught by turning the title into a question: what is the global promise of federalism? Neither the man nor the book reflects a triumphalist assumption in which federalism is a story of unblemished progress and advance, established federations consolidating and strengthening...

  5. 2 Federalism and Democracy: A Critical Reassessment
    (pp. 17-42)

    I want to argue that cooperative and “executive” federalism are dialogical forms of non-unitary governance that provide a more legitimate — and often more effective — form of political accommodation in complex plural societies than unitary majoritarian parliamentary democracy. In doing so, I take issue with the usual complaints about federalism as undemocratic. These complaints are overdrawn — if not misplaced — because they tend to measure the imperfect reality of federalism against the idealist assumption that majority rule and parliamentary accountability somehow bring about the rational convergence of a plurality of particular interests into a reasonable common public good.

    The chapter therefore begins...

  6. 3 Is There a Political Culture of Federalism in Canada? Charting an Unexplored Territory
    (pp. 43-68)

    What is the optimal way to study and compare federations? For the most part they are analysed by focusing on how well federal institutions work in light of the division of powers, the degree of intergovernmental collaboration or competition, and, ultimately, the ability of multiple governments to govern effectively. Nevertheless, in order for federations to operate in a manner that results in policies and programs that are considered fair and just by both citizens and the federal partners, they must be evaluated and understood in light of the values they promote and their ultimate purpose: balancing self-rule and shared rule....

  7. 4 A Problem of Trust: Can Federalism Silence the Guns?
    (pp. 69-98)

    Peace-building practitioners often argue that federalism is particularly well suited to achieve three important objectives: manage diversity, balance self- and shared-rule, and build trust. The literature on federalism has extensively addressed the manner in which federalism provides for the management of diversity (Gagnon and Tully 2001; Ghai 2000; Saunders 2003). It has also spent much time and effort disentangling the mechanisms that provide for self- and shared-rule, and it has thought extensively about the difficulties and tensions associated with attempts to maintain a precarious equilibrium between attempts to enhance autonomy and efforts to maintain and consolidate unity (Watts 1998; Henrard...

  8. 5 Designing a Durable Federation: The Case of Cyprus
    (pp. 99-138)

    Since 1977, Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots have agreed that any shared political future they may have should be federal. This chapter examines the question of how a Cypriot federation could be made durable. Such a federation must satisfy two conditions. First, the federation’s institutional framework must be feasible. By feasible, I do not mean only that the framework must be compatible with “human psychology, human capacities generally, the laws of nature, and the natural resources available to human beings” (Buchanan 2004, 61), but that there are plausible circumstances in which it could be agreed to by the communities in...

  9. 6 The Constitutional Jurisprudence of Federalism and the Theocratic Challenge
    (pp. 139-165)

    Contrary to what many liberals predicted or wished for, not only has religion not vanished, but it has instead gained a renewed momentum worldwide. From the fundamentalist turn in predominantly Islamic polities to the spread of Catholicism and Pentecostalism in the global south, to the rise of the Christian Right in the United States, it is hard to overstate the significance of the religious revival in late twentieth- and early twenty-first-century politics. As of 2013, approximately half of the world’s population, perhaps more, live in polities where religion continues to play a key role in political and constitutional life. India,...

  10. 7 Ideology, Identity, Majoritarianism: On the Politics of Federalism
    (pp. 166-187)

    In this chapter, I want to highlight the profoundly political underpinnings of federalism and argue that, more than a set of institutions and practices, federalism is also very much an object of contention between the left and the right, between different national identities and, in multinational federations, between majorities and minorities. Hence, federalism always constitutes a contentious, historically situated project, and it has to be appreciated as a genuinely political undertaking, at least in democratic societies.

    This argument is not unlike that of Richard Simeon and Ian Robinson, who base theirState, Society, and the Development of Canadian Federalismon...

  11. 8 Adaptability and Change in Federations: Centralization, Political Parties, and Taxation Authority in Australia and Canada
    (pp. 188-213)

    What explains patterns of centralization and decentralization in federations? This question has been and continues to be of central concern to students of federalism. Recent scholarship has tended to stress factors such as the demographic make-up of the polity (Erk 2008) or sequences of historical developments (Broschek 2011). According to the former analysis, heterogeneous federations with territorially concentrated national minorities, like Canada, experience greater centrifugal forces that encourage decentralization and constituent unit autonomy. By contrast, homogeneous federations, like Australia, experience greater centripetal forces, as the polity is more willing to accept the overarching authority of the central government. For those...

  12. 9 Living with Contradictions in Federalism: Goals and Outcomes of Recent Constitutional and Financial Reforms in the Spanish Estado autonómico
    (pp. 214-235)

    The three emblematic goals or values that most federal polities usually seek to achieve through their constitutional principles and institutions are equity, accommodation of diversity, and democracy (Simeon 2006a, 2006b, 2010; Simeon and Swinton 1995). These three crucial goals are pursued by federal arrangements and contemporary governance in general, and, as three manifestations of social justice, represent yardsticks by which federal designs should be evaluated.

    Equityrefers here to distributive justice and is manifested in economic equality and high-quality public services for all citizens.Accommodation of diversityoccurs through therecognition and protectionof cultural or ethnic diversity; the empowerment...

  13. 10 Spatial Rescaling, Federalization, and Interest Representation
    (pp. 236-258)

    The term “federalism” is used in a multiplicity of ways. For some, federalism is a precise juridical concept, confined to the realm of government and to be distinguished from other ways of dividing power, including separation-of-powers, devolution, regional government or decentralization. At the other extreme, it is used as a sociological concept, embracing civil society and even culture and behaviour. Even confining the term to the political realm, it is difficult to find a clear shared meaning, especially in Europe, where we have effectively federal states that are not officially federations (like Spain) and formally federal states that are more...

  14. 11 Engagé Intellectuals, Technocratic Experts, and Scholars
    (pp. 259-278)

    Over the centuries following the original Hippocratic Oath of fifth-century BC, the Latin admonitionprimum non nocerecame to define the key ethical element in the medical profession Hippocrates himself had envisioned:first, do no harm. This prudent rather than activist principle reminds physicians to exercise humility in the efficacy of the tools, technology, and talent available to them. In every generation of the profession, some have been enticed by the new advances, willing to impetuously apply them in order to undo the previous generation’s inaction. But before any action is taken, it is imperative we make sure this fundamental...

  15. 12 Reflections on a Federalist Life
    (pp. 279-293)

    What might lead a grey-flannelled English immigrant kid growing up “British in British Columbia” in Vancouver to become a life-long student of federalism and decentralized governance?¹ The simplest answer is the influence of three professors of political science at the University of British Columbia in the early 1960s, two just starting their academic careers. The eldest, Donald Smiley, was already established as one of Canada’s leading students of federalism. He was joined by Alan Cairns, fresh from Oxford, where he had studied British colonialism, but was now teaching Canadian politics and federalism from his most meticulous notes; and by Ed...

  16. 13 The Collected Works of Richard Simeon
    (pp. 294-310)
  17. Contributors
    (pp. 311-312)