The Case for Multinational Federalism: Beyond the All-encompassing Nation

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2009-09-24
  • Publisher: Routledge
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Throughout the world, liberal-democracies are grappling with increasing claims made in the name of minority national, socio-cultural and ethno-cultural identities that seek greater recognition in the institutions of the nation-state. This work inserts itself into debates centred on diversity through a normative and empirical analytical assessment of the political sociology of multinational democracies. The main thread of the arguments put forward is that federalism, in both its institutional manifestations and its sociological properties, constitutes a promising avenue for the management of cohabitating political communities and for the affirmation of collective identities within states that are constituted by two or more nations. Author Alain-G Gagnon develops his argument by contending that the federal principle allows for the exercise of advanced democratic practices within nation-states, permitting internal nations to openly affirm the bases of adherence to a common political project. At the same time, he argues that federalism nourishes the development of distinct collective traditions that serve to benefit all parties to the association. It is concluded that only in such a scenario will the elusive pursuit of an authentic and shared loyalty underpin multination states and ensure their stability, in contrast to the instrumental sentiments of belonging engendered by procedural territorial federal models. Focusing primarily on the Canadian case, this book also draws inspiration from other federal states (Belgium, the United States), as well as federalizing states (Spain, the United Kingdom). It will be of keen interest to students and scholars of Politics, European Studies, along with Nationalism and Federalism Studies.

Table of Contents

List of illustrationsp. xi
Acknowledgementsp. xii
Note on the authorp. xiii
Introduction: the merits of federalism and new awareness of the multinationp. 1
Federalism and federationp. 3
Territorial and multinational federalismp. 5
The federal condition in Canada and Spainp. 6
Overview of the chaptersp. 9
Memory and national identity in Catalonia and Québecp. 11
Memory and national constructionp. 13
Defining events: Catalonia's journeyp. 15
Defining events: Québec's journeyp. 19
Affirmation of national culturesp. 23
The constellation of belongingsp. 25
The normative foundations of asymmetrical federalism: the Canadian situation from a comparative perspectivep. 31
Clarification of conceptsp. 34
The communitarian principlep. 38
The egalitarian principlep. 41
The democratic principlep. 45
The emerging phenomenon of the multinationp. 52
Dualism and pluralismp. 53
From deep diversity to the multinationp. 57
Trudeau versus Taylorp. 60
The painful birth of a new Canadian school of diversityp. 63
Executive federalism and the exercise of democracy in Canadap. 67
Conceptual considerations and historical developmentsp. 68
The principal challenges facing executive federalismp. 73
When majority nationalism trumps executive federalismp. 81
The effects of majority nationalism in Canadap. 88
Theoretical considerationsp. 89
Three government initiativesp. 92
A case for a multidimensional approachp. 101
Resistance and potential: the duty to consider the multinationp. 106
John Rawls' cooperative scheme in perpetuityp. 107
Daniel Elazar's self-rule and shared rulep. 111
Ernest Renan's daily plebiscitep. 115
Creative politics; healthy tensions and unresolved issuesp. 117
Conclusionp. 120
Notesp. 124
Bibliographyp. 139
Indexp. 155
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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