Case Studies

Covid-19 and Federal Integration in the European Union

Covid-19 and Federal Integration in the European Union

Abstract

While all political systems have struggled with the coronavirus pandemic, this paper examines the ways in which the pandemic has affected the European integration project, particularly with respect to a quasi-federal system with shared competences in key policy areas shaping an effective Covid-19 response.  Previous crises are associated with increased European integration, especially along the lines of ‘federal integration’ – a concept model for interpreting European integration as a dynamic policymaking process.  This paper suggests that this observed link between crises and federal integration is being replicated with respect to European governance of the Covid-19 pandemic in several areas, including agencification, fiscal policy, and health policy.    These new policy approaches and instruments have – as has been the case with previous crises – strengthened the European integration project.

 

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Posted by Laurie Buonanno and Neill Nugent in Case Studies, 0 comments
South Tyrol: 50 Years of Power-Sharing and Federal-like Relations

South Tyrol: 50 Years of Power-Sharing and Federal-like Relations

Abstract

South Tyrol’s autonomy is based on a dissociative conflict resolution model and, building on this, on a consociational democracy. Power-sharing takes place at the horizontal level between the three officially recognised language groups, Germans, Italians, and Ladins, and primarily concerns the proportional distribution of power influence and resources. The cooperation of elites corresponds to the ethnic separation of the language groups in many institutional and social areas. At the vertical level, there is formal and informal quasi-federal cooperation between Bolzano/Bozen and Rome, with Austria playing a relevant role as the protecting power for South Tyrol. Known as a success story, in recent times South Tyrol’s autonomy faces challenges that concern the overcoming of the dissociative model and the adaptation of its consociational democracy to changing demographics and to dynamics in Italian and European constitutional politics.

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Posted by Laurie Buonanno and Neill Nugent in Case Studies, 0 comments
Territorial Self-governance and Separatism: The Case of (Eastern) Ukraine

Territorial Self-governance and Separatism: The Case of (Eastern) Ukraine

Abstract

Territorial self-governance can take many forms, from federation, to federacy, to devolution. Provided the conditions are right, it can contribute to conflict prevention and settlement. Ukraine exhibits many characteristics in which the application of territorial self-governance could serve as a viable approach to managing the country’s diversity, many of these conditions are not met. This is nowhere more obvious than in relation to the re-integration of the self-declared people’s republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. Neither entity has legitimate and independent local elites, the Ukrainian state is institutionally too fragile to rise to the challenges of such a reintegration, and the current status quo, while volatile, satisfies the interests of various local, regional, and global stakeholders.

 

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Posted by Tetyana Malyarenko and Stefan Wolff in Case Studies, 0 comments
Asymmetrical Federalism and Conflict Management in Cyprus

Asymmetrical Federalism and Conflict Management in Cyprus

Abstract

This paper discusses the institutional and normative theory of asymmetrical federalism as it relates to the management of ethnonational diversity in Cyprus, highlighting the need for multinational federalism to accommodate common as well as distinct identities in Cyprus. It is argued that multinational federalism necessitates constitutional asymmetry and that the better adaptation of asymmetric federalism to regulate federal institutions in Cyprus depends on the promotion of a broader understanding of the concepts of “federal separateness” and “federal togetherness.”

 

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Posted by Gülay Umaner-Duba in Case Studies, 0 comments
Federalism in Sri Lanka: One Concept, Two Conceptions?

Federalism in Sri Lanka: One Concept, Two Conceptions?

Abstract

Federalism is broadly defined as a political system in which power is shared between a central government and state governments. However, federalism has come to mean two different things to Sri Lankans. As such, the following article traces the evolution of the concept of federalism among the Sinhalese and Tamils of Sri Lanka.  

 

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Posted by Rochel Canagasabey in Case Studies, 0 comments
State-sharing through power-sharing’: accepting the ethnic divide. The Republic of North Macedonia 20 years after the Ohrid Framework Agreement.

State-sharing through power-sharing’: accepting the ethnic divide. The Republic of North Macedonia 20 years after the Ohrid Framework Agreement.

Abstract

The Republic of North Macedonia is a young state populated by two main groups, ethnic Macedonians and ethnic Albanians, next to which live other smaller groups. Although Macedonia is ranked among the so-called ‘divided societies’, the consociational model of democracy allowed its groups to share power, make the system function and avoid tensions. Yet the path towards consociationalism has not been easy, and frustrations and dissatisfactions do remain on both main groups’ sides. The article discusses origins, features, and consequences of the implementation of power-sharing mechanisms in Macedonia and, by using the concept of ‘state sharing’, reflects on the equilibrium stemming from an interplay between elites’ behaviours, collective frustrations, ethnic divisions, and power-sharing mechanisms.

 

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Posted by Arianna Piacentini in Case Studies, 0 comments
Voting, Elections and US Federalism: The State Government Perspective

Voting, Elections and US Federalism: The State Government Perspective

Abstract

State governments in the U.S. exercise broad authority over elections and maintain a diverse set of rules regulating the process of registering to vote, casting ballots, and drawing congressional district lines, and even determining in some respects who is eligible to vote.  In this contribution, I highlight the significant discretion that states exercise in making election rules and the range of rules in effect in the 50 states.  I also take note of several ways that the scope of state authority is subject to modification by the Supreme Court and Congress, focusing on some recent and pending Supreme Court cases and congressional acts with the potential to broaden or constrain state authority.

 

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Posted by John Dinan in Case Studies, 0 comments
Voting, Elections and US Federalism: The Federal Government Perspective

Voting, Elections and US Federalism: The Federal Government Perspective

Abstract

This article examines the U.S. Constitution’s treatment of voting and elections and the use that the federal government has made of the powers granted to it by the Constitution.  Because the thirteen states that formed the nation differed in the qualifications they imposed for voting, the Constitution originally avoided setting national qualifications, authorizing persons to vote in federal elections if they could vote for the lower house of their state legislature. Constitutional amendments have established a federal floor on voting qualifications, forbidding discrimination based on race, gender, age, and ability to pay a poll tax. States have largely regulated both their own and federal elections, but the Constitution grants the federal government concurrent authority in this area, and the constitutional amendments have granted it authority to enact “appropriate legislation” to enforce their prohibitions of discrimination.  Congress relied on that authority to adopt the Voting Rights Act of 1965, giving the federal government unprecedented power to supervise state elections and voting regulations.  This power has been circumscribed by Supreme Court rulings in recent years, leading Democrats in Congress to introduce bills to restore that power. Congress has also legislated to facilitate voting more generally, though Republicans have sought instead to restrict voting, claiming that this will combat election fraud. A major piece of legislation, the For the People Act, is currently before Congress, designed to nationalize election regulations and facilitate voting, but it faces strong Republican opposition, and its fate is uncertain.

 

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Posted by Alan Tarr in Case Studies, 0 comments
The Federal Question in Lebanon: Myths and Illusions

The Federal Question in Lebanon: Myths and Illusions

Abstract

The question of federalism in Lebanon dates back to the years prior to the civil war in 1975. In the Taif Agreement of 1989 federalism was rejected in favor of administrative decentralization. Today, the topic of federalism is revived and it is seen by some groups as a solution to all the problems of the country. This article seeks to understand the problems of a possible federal solution for the Lebanese republic.

 

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Posted by Eduardo Wassim Aboultaif in Case Studies, 0 comments
The Forgotten Federalism of Venezuela

The Forgotten Federalism of Venezuela

Abstract

Venezuela has been pursuing decentralization since its independence in 1830. The nation has always followed an Anglo-Saxon federalist model that has been difficult to achieve over the years. Venezuela has had twenty-five Constitutions since 1811, most of which declared the country a federation. National power has always moved like a pendulum swinging between autocratic regimes to decentralized systems. From 1988 to 1998, the nation had a remarkable advance in the ratification of a federalist system. In 1999 after the election of President Hugo Chavez, the country stopped any efforts of decentralization and started a new authoritarian cycle.

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Posted by Maria Fernanda Ortega in Case Studies, 0 comments