A Research Agenda for Federalism Studies


A Research Agenda for Federalism Studies

9781800889477 Edward Elgar Publishing
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
Publication Date: 2021 ISBN: 978 1 80088 947 7 Extent: 232 pp
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.

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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.
Critical Acclaim
‘A Research Agenda for Federalism Studies remains an indispensable research tool for all scholars interested in federalism studies broadly construed. While its main purpose is to spell out avenues for future research in the field, thus guiding the researcher to gauge her research where it is most needed or helpful, this collection also succeeds in encapsulating the gist of state-of-the-art research conducted so far. As such, the book could also become a valuable subsidiary educational resource for academics teaching Comparative Federalism courses at graduate and postgraduate level.’
– Erika Arban, Publius, The Journal of Federalism

‘Any reader with an interest in federalism studies will find inspiration for future avenues from this volume as well as a good overview of the variety of topics in this area covered by leading federalism scholars.’
– Bettina Petersohn, Swiss Political Science Review

‘In 16 crisp, highly-readable chapters by recognized federalism scholars, this collection meets two important objectives. It synthesizes state-of-the-art research on a broad range of aspects related to federal studies, and identifies areas where further theoretical, comparative and empirical research is needed. In so doing it provides a helpful road-map on where federal studies stand, and an innovative compass on where they should be heading.’
– Johanne Poirier, McGill University Faculty of Law, Canada

‘A great collection arriving when global politics is navigating unknown waters. In such times, open-minded reflection and sure-footed knowledge of every federal experience should take priority over scholasticism and methodological perfectionism. Commendably, most chapters stay clear of the practice of cross-referencing the like-minded. Instead, scholars across various disciplines propose different research agendas bringing dynamism, relevance and nuance to what is likely to be a solution to the challenges awaiting us.’
– Jan Erk, University of Pretoria, South Africa

''A Research Agenda for Federalism Studies 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: 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


Introduction to A Research Agenda for Federalism Studies 1
John Kincaid
1 Federalism and political theory: a case of mutual neglect? 15
Thomas O. Hueglin
2 Federalism theory: the boundary problem, robustness and dynamics 27
Jenna Bednar
3 Federalism and constitutionalism: challenges presented by dominant
conceptions of the unitary state 39
Cheryl Saunders
4 Subnational constitutions: a research agenda 50
John Dinan
5 Federalism and courts: research avenues 61
Nicholas Aroney
6 What hope for comparative federalism? 76
Alan Fenna
7 The peregrinations of fiscal federalism: past, present and future of a
research agenda 93
Alice Valdesalici
8 De/centralization 106
Paolo Dardanelli
9 The gender-and-federalism research field: past, present and future 117
Jill Vickers
10 Federalism and diversity: a new research agenda 129
Alain-G. Gagnon and Arjun Tremblay
11 Federalism and nationalism 140
André Lecours
12 Federalism as a tool of conflict resolution 151
Soeren Keil
13 Federalism and the politics of shared rule 162
Sean Mueller
14 Non-centralism in Africa: in search of the federal idea 175
Nico Steytler
15 Federalism in Asia: beyond the diversity problematic 187
Harihar Bhattacharyya
16 Federalism and the European Union: asymmetry, policies and some
recurring federal dilemmas 198
Francesco Palermo

Index 209
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