Advanced Introduction to Federalism


Advanced Introduction to Federalism

9781800374133 Edward Elgar Publishing
Alain-G. Gagnon, Professor and Canada Research Chair in Quebec and Canadian Studies, Département de science politique, Université du Québec à Montréal and Arjun Tremblay, Associate Professor, Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Regina, Canada
Publication Date: 2024 ISBN: 978 1 80037 413 3 Extent: 166 pp
This timely Advanced Introduction explores federalism as a subject of intellectual inquiry, discussion and debate. Alain-G. Gagnon and Arjun Tremblay examine the role federalism can play in achieving fairness, justice and equality, as well as the impact it can have on the survival of political systems.

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Critical Acclaim
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Elgar Advanced Introductions are stimulating and thoughtful introductions to major fields in the social sciences, business and law, expertly written by the world’s leading scholars. Designed to be accessible yet rigorous, they offer concise and lucid surveys of the substantive and policy issues associated with discrete subject areas.

This timely Advanced Introduction explores federalism as a subject of intellectual inquiry, discussion and debate. Alain-G. Gagnon and Arjun Tremblay examine the role federalism plays in achieving fairness, justice and equality, as well as the impact it can have on the survival of political systems. Ultimately, they argue that the constitutional division of powers between levels of government remains a significant institutional blueprint for the present and future of democratic societies.

Key Features:

● Recent and emerging trends in federalism scholarship
● Illustrates the complex, evolving and distinctly political nature of federalism
● Explores federalism in the context of postcolonial and settler colonial states
● The impact of cutting-edge issues including COVID-19, populism and democratic backsliding on federalism

Providing an accessible survey of the key concerns and questions surrounding federalism studies, this Advanced Introduction will be vital reading for students and scholars of political science, international studies and international affairs. It will also be an important guide for policy-makers seeking insight into the effectiveness of federal responses to political challenges.
Critical Acclaim
‘The conceptual clarity, comparative approach, and analytical depth make Advanced Introduction to Federalism an essential read for scholars, students, policymakers, and anyone interested in understanding how federal structures can contribute to more just, inclusive, and effective governance. Gagnon and Arjun’s book not only illuminates the past and present of federalism but also provides valuable insights for its future. It is an outstanding contribution that will surely guide the study of federalism in addressing the challenges of governance in an increasingly complex and diverse world.’
– Karel J. Leyva, Politics and Rights Review

‘This fascinating and highly insightful book offers a unique and illuminating approach to comparative federalism by introducing readers to critical contemporary debates and issues of federalism, including democratic backsliding, populism, post-colonial and settler-colonial federations, religion, immigration, multinational democracy, gender, local government, and pandemics. The book provides solid foundations for students and advanced scholars to pursue further research and enrich their teaching about federalism.’
– John Kincaid, Lafayette College, US

‘The longevous principle of federalism remains a stronghold of institutional, democratic and societal stability, more so in times of uncertainties. The authors masterfully investigate how the main contemporary challenges are analyzed in federal scholarship and how policies can be influenced – or even rescued – by federalism.’
– Francesco Palermo, University of Verona and Eurac Research, Italy
Introduction to Federalism 1

1 Studying federalism in the twenty-first century:
concepts, concerns, and questions 6
1 Introduction 6
2 Defining federalism and federation:
a continuing endeavour 7
3 Examining orders of government 8
4 Identifying processes of centralization and
decentralization 9
5 Exploring traditions of federalism 11
6 Distinguishing federalism as a principle 12
7 Comparing federal systems: systematic
comparison and nomothetic comparison 13
8 Conclusion 15
2 Federalism, democratization, and democratic
backsliding 17
1 Introduction 17
2 Federalism and democracy: conceptual connections? 17
3 Federalism and democratization 19
4 Democratic backsliding 21
5 Federalism and democratic backsliding 23
6 American federalism and democratic backsliding 25
7 Conclusion 28

3 Federalism and national diversity 31
1 Introduction 31
2 Multinational state: a definition 31
3 Sidestepping the American tradition of federalism 34
4 Multinational federalism: institutions and practices 36
5 Intercultural federalism: an alternative to
multinational federalism 37
6 The development of multinational and
intercultural federalism: obstacles and opportunities 39
7 Conclusion 41
4 Federalism and religion 44
1 Introduction 44
2 Daniel J. Elazar on the biblical roots of federalism 44
3 John Winthrop on federal liberty 47
4 Johannes Althusius on ‘consociational federalism’ 48
5 Comparative and case study approaches to
religion and federalism 50
6 Federalism and secularism in Canada 52
7 Conclusion 53
5 Federalism and immigration 57
1 Introduction 57
2 Immigration federalism: four key features 57
3 Immigration federalism in the United States 59
4 Exploring new avenues of inquiry 64
5 Conclusion 66
6 Federalism and gender 71
1 Introduction 71
2 What is gender? Why do federalism
studies need gendered analysis? What is
gender-and-federalism research? 71
3 Gendered analysis and the comparative study
of federalism 73
4 Gendered analysis and case studies of federations 75

5 Gendered analysis of the American Federation 78
6 Conclusion 80
7 Federalism and local government 85
1 Introduction 85
2 New federalism and local governments in the
United States 85
3 No longer at the margins? The study of cities
and municipalities in Canada 87
4 The Constitution, ethnic federalism,
power-sharing and local government in Ethiopia 89
5 India’s third tier of government 91
6 Cross-national perspectives: comparative
concerns and theoretical debates 93
7 Conclusion 95
8 Federalism and populism 99
1 Introduction 99
2 Populism and populists in the twenty-first century 99
3 Donald Trump and American federalism:
three different takes 101
4 Narendra Modi and Indian federalism: has
power centralized? 102
5 Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Mexican
federalism: two different trends 104
6 Jair Bolsonaro and Brazilian federalism: more
pressing scholarly concerns? 105
7 Populism and federalism in Italy and the Philippines 107
8 Conclusion 108
9 Federalism and the COVID-19 pandemic 115
1 Introduction 115
2 COVID-19 and federalism in Brazil 115
3 COVID-19 and federalism in Australia 117
4 COVID-19 and federalism in Germany 118
5 COVID-19 and federalism in India 119

6 COVID-19 and federalism in Canada 121
7 COVID-19 and federalism in the United States 122
8 Comparing federal responses to COVID-19 123
9 Conclusion 125
10 Federalism in Post-Colonial and Settler Colonial States 131
1 Introduction 131
2 Federalism and post-colonial states 131
3 Federalism and settler colonial states 134
4 The future of federalism in post-colonial and
settler-colonial states: ways forward and warnings 139
5 Conclusion 141
Conclusions on Federalism 144
1 What do federalism and federation mean? 144
2 Has there been any significant change to
orders of government? 144
3 Are federations centralizing or decentralizing? 145
4 Which tradition of federalism is best suited
for longstanding and emerging federal states? 145
5 What has happened to the federal principle? 146
6 What do comparisons of federal systems reveal? 146
7 Closing words 147
Index 148
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