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A Research Agenda for Federalism Studies

Edited by John Kincaid, Robert B. and Helen S. Meyner Professor of Government and Public Service and Director, Meyner Center for the Study of State and Local Government, Lafayette College, US
In this forward-thinking book, fifteen leading scholars set forth cutting-edge agendas for research on significant facets of federalism, including basic theory, comparative studies, national and subnational constitutionalism, courts, self-rule and shared rule, centralization and decentralization, nationalism and diversity, conflict resolution, gender equity, and federalism challenges in Africa, Asia, and the European Union. More than 40 percent of the world’s population lives under federal arrangements, making federalism not only a major research subject but also a vital political issue worldwide.
Extent: c 256 pp
Hardback Price: $135.00 Web: $121.50
Publication Date: December 2019
ISBN: 978 1 78811 296 3
Availability: Not yet published

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  • eISBN: 978 1 78811 297 0

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Elgar Research Agendas outline the future of research in a given area. Leading scholars are given the space to explore their subject in provocative ways, and map out the potential directions of travel. They are relevant but also visionary.

This timely and insightful Research Agenda for Federalism Studies brings together comparative reflections from leading scholars across five continents on the past, present and future of federalism research.

Addressing the research needs of federalism studies around the world, contributors focus on political theory, constitutionalism, self-rule, gender, diversity and conflict resolution, as well as challenges for federalism in Africa, Asia and Europe, to identify contemporary research lacunae and seek out new directions for investigation. In a world where more than 40 per cent of the world’s people live in federal systems, this impressive book provides accessible guidance through a profuse and complex research terrain.

This rich source of ideas and research pathways offers critical insight for graduate students of political science and comparative government, as well as senior scholars seeking fresh perspectives on federalism studies.
'A Research Agenda for Federalism is a treasure-trove of solid federalism scholarship as well as a compilation of questions as yet unanswered. The contributors provide a first rate research agenda for scholars—especially new scholars—seeking to make a difference in this subfield.'
– Carol S. Weissert, Florida State University, US

‘This is an innovative and important collection. It brings together a number of leading federalism scholars in assessing many of the main research questions which confront the study of federal systems today. As the first comprehensive analysis of this kind it offers an extremely valuable resource for any scholar seeking to understand the current challenges which confront federal scholarship.'
– Stephen Tierney, University of Edinburgh, UK
Contributors include: N. Aroney, J. Bednar, H. Bhattacharyya, P. Dardanelli, J. Dinan, A. Fenna, A.-G. Gagnon, T.O. Hueglin, S. Keil, J. Kincaid, A. Lecours, S. Mueller, F. Palermo, C. Saunders, N. Steytler, A. Tremblay, A. Valdesalici, J. Vickers


John Kincaid

1. Federalism and Political Theory: A Case of Mutual Neglect?
Thomas O. Hueglin

2. Federalism Theory: The Boundary Problem, Robustness, and Dynamics
Jenna Bednar

3. Federalism and Constitutionalism: Challenges Presented by Dominant Conceptions of the Unitary State
Cheryl Saunders

4. Subnational Constitutions: A Research Agenda
John Dinan

5. Federalism and Courts: Research Avenues
Nicholas Aroney

6. What Hope for Comparative Federalism?
Alan Fenna

7. The Peregrinations of Fiscal Federalism: Past, Present and Future of a Research Agenda
Alice Valdesalici

8. De/Centralization
Paolo Dardanelli

9. The Gender-and-Federalism Research Field: Past, Present, and Future
Jill Vickers

10. Federalism and Diversity: A New Research Agenda
Alain-G. Gagnon and Arjun Tremblay

11. Federalism and Nationalism
André Lecours

12. Federalism as a Tool of Conflict Resolution
Soeren Keil

13. Federalism and the Politics of Shared Rule
Sean Mueller

14. Non-Centralism in Africa: In Search of the Federal Idea
Nico Steytler

15. Federalism in Asia: Beyond the Diversity Problematic
Harihar Bhattacharyya

16. Federalism and the European Union: Asymmetry, Policies and Some Recurring Federal Dilemmas
Francesco Palermo