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Comparative Federalism

Constitutional Arrangements and Case Law

By: Francesco Palermo, Karl Kössler
Media of Comparative Federalism
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Published: 05-10-2017
Format: Hardback
Edition: 1st
Extent: 504
ISBN: 9781509901494
Imprint: Hart Publishing
Series: Hart Studies in Comparative Public Law
Dimensions: 244 x 169 mm
RRP: £110.00
Online price : £99.00
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Loren Epson

About Comparative Federalism

This is the first comprehensive book that explores the subject of federalism from the perspective of comparative constitutional law, whilst simultaneously placing a strong emphasis on how federal systems work in practice. This focus is reflected in the book's two most innovative elements. First, it analyses from a comparative point of view how government levels exercise their powers and interact in several highly topical policy areas like social welfare, environmental protection or migrant integration. Second, the book incorporates case law boxes discussing seminal judgments from federal systems worldwide and thus demonstrates the practical impact of constitutional jurisprudence on policymakers and citizens alike.

“This is simply the best analysis of contemporary federalism currently available. It is comprehensive in its coverage, thorough in its analysis, and persuasive in its conclusions. Every student of federalism, from novice to expert, will find benefit from this volume.” Professor G Alan Tarr, Rutgers University

“Wading through the thicket of the multiple forms that the federal idea has taken in the contemporary world, this remarkably comprehensive treatise backed by case law fills a long-awaited gap in the literature on comparative federalism. It combines a mastery of the literature on federal theory with a critical understanding of how it plays out in practice. Outstanding in the breadth of its scope, this magisterial survey will serve as a work of reference for generations of scholars who seek to understand how federalism works in developed as well as developing countries.” Professor Balveer Arora, Jawaharlal Nehru University New Delhi

“This book is an extraordinarily handy work of reference on the diverse federal-type systems of the world. It handles both shared principles and differences of perspective, structure or practice with confidence and ease. It will become a standard work for scholars and practitioners working in the field.” Professor Cheryl Saunders, The University of Melbourne

“This is a remarkable book – for its sheer breadth of scope, combining detail of practice with analysis of federal principles, and for its fresh look at federalism. With great erudition, drawing on world scholarship and the practice of federalism across the globe, Palermo and Kössler magnificently traverse from the ancient roots of federalism to the contemporary debates on ethno-cultural dimensions and participatory democracy. The book sets a new benchmark for the study of comparative federalism, providing new insights that are bound to influence practice in an era where federal arrangements are expected to deliver answers to key governance and societal challenges.” Professor Nico Steytler, University of the Western Cape

Table Of Contents

Part I: Foundations
1. Concepts
2. Manifestations
3. History
4. Debates

Part II: Self-Rule and Shared Rule
5. Autonomy of Subnational Entities
6. Participation of Subnational Entities at the National Level
7. Financial Relations
8. Prevention and Resolution of Conflicts
9. Local Government

Part III: Powers and Policies: Between Autonomy and Homogeneity
10. Fundamental Rights
11. Social Welfare and Healthcare
12. Environmental Protection
13. Immigration and Migrant Integration
14. External Relations
15. Concluding Remarks


“In an increasingly crowded field, this new book on comparative federalism stands out for its iconoclasm, for its illuminating and entertaining selection of illustrative examples, but most of all for a significant methodological breakthrough that makes the book both more useful and more coherent than most of its predecessors ... Because they are not bound to the simplifications of a model, [the authors] are free to concede the enormous complexity of forces that shape federal states ... As a result, their accounts of conditions in individual states are unusually thorough, accurate, and persuasive.” –  James A Gardner, University at Buffalo School of Law, Publius: The Journal of Federalism

“... a work of great importance, strongly inspired by the need for a critical approach to the normative data, to identify and remove the clichés present in the debate ... a volume, in short, which marks the existence of a before and after in the studies on federalism and which is destined to be a point of reference on the subject. (Translated from the original Italian)” –  Giuseppe Martinico, Rivista di Diritti Comparati

Comparative Federalism is a comprehensive and insightful reference work on the practical implementation of the 'federal toolkit', supported and enriched by informed historical and theoretical framing. The book is generally accessible, well laid out, and clearly written ... The book will appeal to a wide readership, most obviously those working on federalism and power-sharing arrangements from the perspectives of, inter alia, constitutional law and political science, as well as those interested in such topical issues as participatory democracy and multi-level governance.” –  Timothy Jacob-Owens, European University Institute, EUI Constitutionalism and Politics Working Group Blog

“... this latest contribution to the functioning of federalism is a valuable addition for both scholars and practitioners, especially lawyers who are faced with challenges regarding this subject.” –  Mathias Eller, Federal Governance

“… this work is certain to be a reference in the field, not only for scholars of federalism, but also for those who would like to approach the federal idea from a purely legal perspective. The clarity and multitude of its examples make it accessible for all those who intend to embark upon their study of the federal paradigm. (Translated from the original Spanish)” –  Francisco Javier Romero Caro, Universidad del País Vasco, Revista de Estudios Políticos

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