Welcome to 50 shades of federalism

50 Shades of Federalism is a project established in October 2017 at Canterbury Christ Church University to help inform debate about many issues related to the topic of ‘federalism’.

Articles, written by some of the leading scholars and practitioners in the field, will be published on a regular basis.

Having identified five main themes – Case Studies, Conflict Resolution, Diversity Management, Policies and Theory – the central aim of this project is to provide succinct, easy accessible, high quality research articles free of charge. The research articles will feature discussions on a number of abstract and historical issues, as well as illuminate some of the contemporary dynamics in debates on federalism. Given that the study of federalism straddles a variety of disciplines, we seek to pursue a multidisciplinary approach with contributions from politician scientists, theorists and constitutional lawyers, some of whom are leading scholars in the field.

Despite being based in the UK, the articles featured will be penned by scholars from all over the world to ensure that a diversity of perspectives and case studies are considered and that the multifaceted nature of federalism studies is presented.

Read more about the project »

Latest Articles:

  • Political Parties: Driving Federal Dynamics, adapting to Federal Structures

    Liberal thinkers and supporters of majoritarian democracy are at odds with each other on the proper role of political parties in federal systems. Parties are seen either as guardians of the federal division of powers or as instruments to transcend federal barriers for the pursuit of uniform public policies. In analytical accounts, scholars have looked at two dimensions of territorial party politics: the level of symmetry in party competition and the degree of vertical integration within party organisations. There are many different ways, in which parties have responded to a multi-level political environment. In a complex two-way mutual interaction, parties have adapted to federal structures while at the same time driving federal dynamics. Read More
  • The Pleasant Greyness of Australian Federalism

    This article provides an overview of Australian federalism, describing its origins, design, features, evolution, and issues. Its central theme is the way that, in the notable absence of a ‘federal society’, a system that was decentralised in design and intent has given way to one much more centralised in practice. The issues that plague Australian federalism are the practical ones of fiscal federalism and intergovernmental relations. Read More
  • Perspectives on Comparative Federalism

    The number of countries embracing federalism is rocketing and research on federalism is booming. Federal studies are eventually abandoning the vain search for definitional clarity, and increasingly look at the potential of federalism to provide solutions to some of the most pressing challenges to contemporary constitutionalism. Federalism is indeed the oldest institutional mechanism to regulate pluralism, and has therefore a lot to offer in solving contemporary challenges originating from the quest for more pluralism, both institutional and societal. Read More