Dialogues on Intergovernmental Relations in Federal Systems

Dialogues on Intergovernmental Relations in Federal Systems

Copyright Date: 2010
Pages: 96
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    Dialogues on Intergovernmental Relations in Federal Systems
    Book Description:

    These lively, timely, and accessible dialogues on federal systems provide the reader with highlights of each topic, serving as an entry point to the corresponding book, which offers a more in depth, comprehensive exploration of the theme. Whether you are a student or teacher of federalism, working in the field of federalism, or simply interested in the theme, these booklets are an insightful and informative analysis of the topic at hand in each of the featured countries. Booklet 8 explores the topic of intergovernmental relations with the following federal-type countries or regimes as case studies: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Germany, India, Nigeria, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, the United States, and a special chapter on the European Union. Contributors include Walter F. Carnota (University of Buenos Aires), Peter Bußjäger (Vorarlberger Landtag), Maria Hermínia Tavares de Almeida (University of São Paulo), Marc-Antoine Adam (Gouvernement du Québec), Roland Lhotta (Institut für Politikwissenschaft), Julia von Blumenthal (Institut für Politikwissenschaft), Mahendra Prasad Singh (University of Delhi), Rekha Saxena (Hamdard University), Eghosa E. Osaghae (Igbinedion University), Derek Powell (Republic of South Africa), María Jesús García Morales (Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona Campus UAB), Thomas Pfisterer (Universität St-Gallen), Ursula Abderhalden (Universität St-Gallen), Troy E. Smith (Brigham Young University at Hawaii), Cheryl Saunders (University of Melbourne), and Johanne Poirier (Université Libre de Bruxelles).

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-9085-4
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface
    (pp. vii-2)
  4. Cooperative Mechanisms and Intergovernmental Relations in Federal Regimes
    (pp. 3-8)

    Intergovernmental relations (IGR) are a feature of every federal regime. While federations differ in many respects, substantial interaction between orders of government is unavoidable and techniques for managing interdependence are varied and widespread. At the heart of the phenomenon are the many institutions and processes through which federal partners enter into relations with each other. These are the primary subject of this booklet

    The Global Dialogue theme on Intergovernmental Relations is based around 13 case studies: twelve federations and the emerging quasi federal entity that is the EU. The case studies illustrate the wide variety of objectives pursued by central...

  5. Intergovernmental Relations in Argentina
    (pp. 9-11)

    There is an extensive Argentinean literature on intergovernmental relations although in Argentine political and legal circles writers do not often use the term, “intergovernmental relations”. Over the years, a great many Argentine experts – betraying a legalistic approach – have preferred the expression “interjurisdictional relations”. Others have opted to write about a particular type of cooperative federalism, “federalismo de concertación”, which they describe as an ideal, if unrealized, model for intergovernmental relations.

    The term intergovernmental relations has only recently gained widespread currency in Argentina, as federal studies in the country have absorbed the influences of contemporary sociology, economics and political science.


  6. Intergovernmental Relations in Australia: Increasing Engagement
    (pp. 12-15)

    Australian federalism was not designed with intergovernmental relations uppermost in mind. Despite this, Australia has developed a comprehensive set of intergovernmental institutions and policy communities, and fostering cooperative relations between orders of government is high on the political agenda.

    The expectation at “federation” in 1901 was that the two levels of government – the Commonwealth (the national or federal government of Australia) and the six State governments – could operate largely independent of each other. Following the US model, Australia’s Constitution assigned to the Commonwealth government a limited number of (mostly concurrent) responsibilities, with the residual power being left to the States....

  7. Cooperation and Coordination in Austrian Federalism
    (pp. 16-18)

    One of the main characteristics of Austrian federalism is the high level of integration between the institutions of the constituent units, the “Länder”, and the federal government (the Federation), with the latter playing the dominant role. There are a variety of different kinds of relationships between the institutions of the Federation and theLänderand a high level of coordination is indispensable. As a result, “cooperation” and “coordination” are the two main keywords to describe Austrian federalism.

    Beginning with the birth of the Austrian Federal Constitution in the 1920, during the First Republic (1918 –1938), there was a strong tendency...

  8. Addressing Social and Regional Inequalities in Brazil: Achievements and Ongoing Challenges
    (pp. 19-21)

    In Brazil, no policy output can be understood without taking intergovernmental relations into account.

    Subnational governments, particularly local ones, have become the main providers of most services whereas the federal government is in charge of policies related to income. Primary education, primary health care, enrollment of welfare recipients, housing, urban development, trash collection, and public transportation are increasingly the responsibility of local governments, while state governments provide secondary education and complex health services as well as water and sewage collection. Social security, unemployment compensation, and welfare payments remain in the hands of the federal government.

    It might seem that this...

  9. Canada: Evolution at the Margins of the Constitution
    (pp. 22-25)

    Founded in 1867, Canada was one of the first modern-era federations. The constitutional division of powers between the federal government and the ten provinces – and by extension Canada’s three territories – follows the classic dualist model in which each order of government has essentially exclusive responsibility over different sectors, covering both legislative and executive functions.

    Following a formula that was established in the first judicial decisions on Canadian federalism, each order of government is sovereign in the domains granted to it by the Constitution. In addition, the federal order of government, like the Provincial, is structured according to the British parliamentary...

  10. EU: Intergovernmental Relations in a Supranational Federation
    (pp. 26-30)

    The European Union (EU) could be described as a supranational organization, with features both of an international organization, and, increasingly, of a federal system. This dynamic is important: the EU is in permanent evolution, both in terms of size and institutional regime.

    The EU¹ was born in the 1950s with six Member States (which we can consider to be the EU’s constituent units) and with a population of less than 200 million. It then evolved, to nine “constituent units” in 1972, 10 in 1980, 12 in 1986, 15 in 1995, 25 in 2004.

    As of 2007, the EU is made...

  11. Federal Governance in Germany Between Party Politics and Administrative Networks
    (pp. 31-33)

    German federalism is usually described as “intrastate federalism”, featuring highly developed “executive federalism” with far-reaching cooperation between levels of government.

    The need for intense collaboration between levels of government is fuelled by Germany’s system of power sharing based on a functional distribution of competences. While most legislative powers are bestowed on the national government, the administrative power – including the implementation of federal laws – is concentrated at the subnational level of theLänder(the states).

    The German second chamber of the national parliament, theBundesrat(the “senate” or upper house), plays the role of defending the administrative interests of theLänder...

  12. Intergovernmental Relations in India
    (pp. 34-37)

    India was the first country in the Afro-Asian world to adopt a parliamentary federal constitution, in 1949-50. Federalization was a product of the combined processes of devolution from the centre to the British Indian provinces, and the integration or five hundred-odd princely Indian states through diplomatic negotiation and military action.

    British colonial rule in India, since at least the mid-nineteenth century, had established a fairly institutionalized process of interaction between the “center” (the national or federal government, first in Calcutta and subsequently in New Delhi), on the one hand, and the Governors and the Chief Commissioner’s provinces on the other....

  13. Nigeria: Intergovernmental Relations in a Highly Centralized Federation
    (pp. 38-40)

    Nigeria belongs to the genre of federations which began as unitary or quasi-unitary systems, but later disaggregated into an ever-increasing number of constituent units. The country’s complex ethnic and religious diversity was a major factor in this process. From three regions in 1954, when the country first adopted a federal constitution, the number increased to four in 1963. Under military rule, the regions were abrogated and replaced first with 12 states in 1967, 19 states in 1976, 21 states in 1987, 30 states in 1991 and, finally, 36 states in 1996 (to these should be added the Federal Capital Territory...

  14. Intergovernmental Relations in South Africa – Growing Pains of a New System or Multi-level Government at the Crossroads?
    (pp. 41-43)

    Since the adopdon of the Constitution in 1996, intergovernmental relations in South Africa have exhibited three contrasting tendencies: the national government’s dominance, strong devolution tolocalgovernment, and growing use of statutory structures to manage intergovernmental relations. So far the process of intergovernmental relations has helped contain the pressures of a new democracy trying to build a more equal society. However, persistent and extreme poverty and inequality have led many to question the effectiveness of South Africa’s multi-level government.

    The Constitution established elected national, provincial and local spheres of government, allocated powers and responsibilities to each and set the framework...

  15. Intergovernmental Relations in Spain
    (pp. 44-47)

    Spain has been a politically decentralized State for a little over 30 years. The Constitution of 1978 brought democracy and political decentralization at the same time, after a very centralist State was dismantled. The new Spanish State, commonly referred to as “State or the Autonomies”, comprising a central government and 17 territorial bodies known as Autonomous Communities, constitutes the longest experience in democracy in Spanish history.

    Intergovernmental relations are not accounted for in the Constitution, but they are a decisive element in the political decentralization process. In Spain, cooperation mechanisms have taught something as important as the need to share...

  16. The Latest Developments in Intergovernmental Relations in Switzerland
    (pp. 48-51)

    The issue of intergovernmental relations is not a question commonly raised in Switzerland. However, it is Still a question worth considering, as it addresses all formal and informal aspects of life among the cantons and with the Confederation. Swiss federal law has long used a “holistic” approach: beyond the specific provisions, the machinery of legal institutions has relied on civic common sense to hold the Confederation together.

    Switzerland and its federation are characterized by:

    diversity (languages, religions, regions, etc.);

    smallness and small territorial entities (26 cantons and more than 2700 communes);

    scarcity of resources;

    the need for cooperation;

    a paucity...

  17. Intergovernmental Relations in the United States of America: Pervasive, Personal and Opportunistic
    (pp. 52-56)

    Unlike many new federal unions, the United States of America lacks formal structures or institutions to insure constituent units¹ powers and interests are represented and protected in the creation and administration of intergovernmental policies. America’s founders did not perceive a need for such institutions, as federal and state governments were each given different responsibilities.

    Today, intergovernmental relations pervade America’s federal system. The federal government has involved itself in almost all aspects of domestic policy and, given the United States’ large geographic size and population, the federal government requires constituent units’ assistance to administer national policies.

    While the national legislature, Congress,...

  18. Glossary
    (pp. 57-60)
  19. Contributors
    (pp. 61-62)
  20. Participating Experts
    (pp. 63-70)
  21. Back Matter
    (pp. 71-79)