Federal Dynamics Continuity, Change, and the Varieties of Federalism

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-04-05
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Federal systems are praised for creating political stability, but they are also blamed for causing rigidity. They are said to balance powers, but apparently they are also threatened by instability due to drifts in power. Federalism should support democratization, but it can also constrain the power of the demos and strengthen the executive. In short, there is widespread agreement that federal systems are dynamic. The forces, mechanisms and consequences of federal dynamics, however, are not sufficiently understood so far.

This book brings together leading experts in the field of comparative federalism to highlight how the interplay of continuity and change systematically generates and reinforces varieties of federalism and varieties of federal dynamics. Federal Dynamics: Continuity, Change and Varieties of Federalism investigates mechanisms and resulting patterns of federal development. It offers new analytical concepts and discusses different theoretical propositions to systematically compare convergent and divergent trends in federal systems. Acknowledging the theoretical pluralism that dominates the field, the book is organized around four sections: Models, Varieties and Dimensions of Federalism; Timing, Sequencing and Historical Evolution; Social Change and Political Structuring; and Actors, Institutions and Internal Dynamics.

The contributions to this volume are variously concerned with three guiding questions: What changes within federal systems, how and why? The focus provided by these three guiding questions allows for a dialogue between strands of the literature that have not talked to each other in a sufficient manner. In this way, the book makes a significant contribution to the growing literature on continuity and change in federal systems. Ultimately, it represents a substantive effort in advancing research on comparative federalism.

Author Biography

Arthur Benz's research, over the last decade, has focused on politics and policy-making in multilevel governance and constitutional change in federal or federalising systems. The results of his research have been published in books and journals such as Public Administration, Regional and Federal Studies, Publius: The Journal of Federalism, and West European Politics. He is Professor of Political Science at the Technische Universitat Darmstadt, Germany.

Jorg Broschek is author of a book on Canadian federalism (Der kanadische Foderalismus. Eine historisch-institutionalistische Analyse, Wiesbaden 2009). His articles have been published in academic journals including the Canadian Journal of Political Science, Publius: The Journal of Federalism, Regional and Federal Studies, and the Swiss Political Science Review. He is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the Technische Universitat Darmstadt. His current research focuses on institutional and policy change in federal systems.

Table of Contents

1. Federal Dynamics: Introduction, Arthur Benz and Jorg Broschek
Part I: Models, Varieties and Dimensions of Federalism
2. Dimensions and Dynamics of Federal Regimes, Arthur Benz
3. Comparing Federalisms: Variations or Distinct Models?, Thomas Hueglin
4. Varieties of Federalism and Propensities for Change, Cesar Colino
Part II: Timing and Sequencing and Historical Evolution
5. Between Path Dependence and Gradual Change: Historical Institutionalism and the Study of Federal Dynamics, Jorg Broschek
6. Resilience and Change in Federal Institutions: The Case of the German Federal Council, Kathleen Thelen and Sebastian Karcher
7. Decentralization in Time: A Process-Tracing Approach to Federal Dynamics of Change, Tulia Falleti
9. Federalism, Democracy and Democratization, Mikhail Filippov and Olga Shvetsova
10. The Evolution of Federalism and Executive Power in Canada and Australia, Anthony Sayers and Andrew Banfield
Part III: Social Change and Political Structuring
11. Federalism, Nationalist Politics, and Social Policy: How Ideas and Institutions Interact to Produce or Prevent Change, Daniel Beland and Andre Lecours
12. Dynamics of Change in Federal Representation, Lori Thorlakson
13. Mainstream Parties and Territorial Dynamics in the UK, Spain and India, Wilfried Swenden and Simon Toubeau
Part IV: Actors, Institutions and Internal Dynamics
14. Constitutional Change in Federations: The Role of Complementary Institutions, Jenna Bednar
15. Constitutional Reform and Federal Dynamics: Causes and Effects, Bettina Petersohn
16. Paradoxes of Self-Coordination in Federal Systems, Nicole Bolleyer)
17. Economic Crisis and Federal Dynamics, Dietmar Braun and Philipp Trein
Conclusion: Theorizing Federal Dynamics, Arthur Benz and Jorg Broschek

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