Federalism

México: A Case for the Study of Federal Corporatization

Abstract

With the purpose of projecting México towards the field of international federal comparisons, this text originates from the question: Which factors of federal corporatization are found in the Mexican case? It is important to highlight that the 19th century signified an era of “radical federalism” for México. By contrast, two later phases of federal corporatization have developed, between 1930 and 2000, and after 2018. The stage from 2000 to 2018 was described as a conjunctural federal resurgence, due to the partisan alternation, the growth of decentralized spending and the discussion of specific policies in horizontal forums. With the resurgence of Mexican corporatization, two factors, with different levels of importance, can be confirmed: 1) the hegemonical party, and 2) the constitutional coding of Intergovernmental Relations. However, the 2000-2018 period threw Urban Development to the national-subnational competition. Equally, the collective and individual initiatives of the subnational governments may be understood as federal safeguards.

 

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Posted by Joel Mendoza Ruiz and Joel Mendoza Gómez in Case Studies, 0 comments
Pouring Oil on Iraq’s Fragile Power Sharing Arrangement:  Kurdistan’s Autonomy and the Kurdish Oil Judgment of 2022

Pouring Oil on Iraq’s Fragile Power Sharing Arrangement: Kurdistan’s Autonomy and the Kurdish Oil Judgment of 2022

Abstract

Iraq’s constitution of 2005 was a promising one: it had been accepted in a popular referendum and implemented a federal agenda for the central government and the Kurdistan region. However, a closer look reveals that the constitution-making process was severely flawed. Indeed, some essential features of the federal system are either missing or remain largely undefined. In this short contribution, we expound on the extent to which the constitution essentially provides for a federal structure, and whether it has been properly implemented. Further examination reveals that the absence of federal regions (besides the Kurdistan region), the unclear distribution of rules, as well as the missing bicameral parliament and the law on the Federal Supreme Court, all contribute to the lack of federal practice in Iraq – leading to important anti-federal consequences, such as the 2022 Iraqi Oil Judgment.

 

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Posted by Daan Smeekens, Simon Mazidi and Eva Maria Belser in Case Studies, 0 comments

Cities in the Context of Swiss Federalism

Abstract

Communes embody the diversity of a federal state. Amongst them, cities play an important role in many regards. Various questions arise when looking into cities and city-related issues in Swiss federalism from a legal perspective. Their status is primarily determined by the cantons and thus varies from canton to canton. The Federal legislator partially deals with cities, too. Overall, this leaves us with a fragmented picture of the city as a distinct legal entity. The following article provides a brief overview of elements that position the city in the context of Swiss federalism, starting with its definition, looking at approaches taken in the cantons and at the federal level and linking cities with reform proposals.

 

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Posted by Florian Bergamin in Case Studies, 0 comments

Reconstruction without Reconciliation: The New Battle for a Decentralised Syria

Abstract

The desire for decentralisation has increased across sectarian lines within Syria, as evidenced in studies conducted by ‘The Day After Project’. Irrespective of this, power in Syria remains highly centralised in the hands of Bashar al-Assad and his Baath government. This short paper analyses the reasons behind this continued concentration of power, alluding to the security focussed legacy that Hafez al-Assad left in place for his son, and the ability of the Assad regime to utilise foreign actors to bolster his control of the economy in a post-conflict process of authoritarian reconstruction. 

 

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Posted by Nick Coleman in Case Studies, 0 comments

Concessionary Federalism as a Tactical Choice to Facilitate Constitutional Change—A Lesson from India’s Indirect Tax Reforms

Abstract

One of the key questions of research on federalism is to understand the conditions or causal mechanisms under which constitutional change—that reallocates powers between the centre and the states– becomes feasible in federal systems. However, the literature on federalism offers limited guidance on how to persuade subnational states to adopt amendments which seek to diminish their constitutionally assigned powers—especially their tax authority, which is a primordial feature of their institutional empowerment—without violating democratic decorum and federal principles. The case of indirect tax reforms in India assumes significance in this context. It adds important insights to the debate on how best to understand the circumstances under which the proposals to amend the constitutional division of powers enter the political agenda and the conditions under which they fail or are finally adopted.

 

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Posted by Chanchal Kumar Sharma in Case Studies, 0 comments
Shades of Federal Theory

Shades of Federal Theory

Abstract

The conceptual history of federalism only begins in the 17th century as a response to Bodin’s doctrine of absolute and indivisible sovereignty. Modern federalism has therefore typically been understood as a variation of the state, most importantly in the form of the federal state. Non-statist federal concepts have been ignored or neglected. Against the pessimistic assumption that a universal federal principle cannot be found, I suggest that it is at least possible to identify a coherent set of normative principles without which federalism would not make sense. These principles are membership equality, subsidiarity, social solidarity, and federal comity.

 

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Posted by Thomas O. Hueglin in Theory, 0 comments

Federalism and the Arab Spring

Abstract

This research proposes to analyze the background and prerequisites of the federalist experiments of the Arab Spring, describe their evolution and current state, as well as assess the prospects for the future. Political upheavals in the Middle East and North Africa led to an active rethinking of the former unitary model. At the same time in recent years decentralization has been a major topic of socio-political debate in Libya, Syria and Yemen. In each case, the reference case is the experience of the Iraqi federation, which is one of the youngest in the Arab world.

 

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Posted by Leonid Issaev and Andrey Zakharov in Case Studies, 0 comments

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

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?

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