Federal Dynamics: Continuity, Change, and the Varieties of Federalism

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OUP Oxford, 2013 - Political Science - 394 pages
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Federal systems are praised for creating political stability, but they are also blamed for causing rigidity. They are said to balance powers, but apparently they are also threatened by instability due to drifts in power. Federalism should support democratization, but it can also constrain the power of the demos and strengthen the executive. In short, there is widespread agreement that federal systems are dynamic. The forces, mechanisms and consequences of federal dynamics, however, are not sufficiently understood so far. This book brings together leading experts in the field of comparative federalism to highlight how the interplay of continuity and change systematically generates and reinforces varieties of federalism and varieties of federal dynamics. Federal Dynamics: Continuity, Change and Varieties of Federalism investigates mechanisms and resulting patterns of federal development. It offers new analytical concepts and discusses different theoretical propositions to systematically compare convergent and divergent trends in federal systems. Acknowledging the theoretical pluralism that dominates the field, the book is organized around four sections: Models, Varieties and Dimensions of Federalism; Timing, Sequencing and Historical Evolution; Social Change and Political Structuring; and Actors, Institutions and Internal Dynamics. The contributions to this volume are variously concerned with three guiding questions: What changes within federal systems, how and why? The focus provided by these three guiding questions allows for a dialogue between strands of the literature that have not talked to each other in a sufficient manner. In this way, the book makes a significant contribution to the growing literature on continuity and change in federal systems. Ultimately, it represents a substantive effort in advancing research on comparative federalism.

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Models Varieties and Dimensions of Federalism
Timing Sequencing and Historical Evolution
Social Change and Political Structuring
Actors Institutions and Internal Dynamics

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About the author (2013)

Arthur Benz's research, over the last decade, has focused on politics and policy-making in multilevel governance and constitutional change in federal or federalising systems. The results of his research have been published in books and journals such as Public Administration, Regional and Federal Studies, Publius: The Journal of Federalism, and West European Politics. He is Professor of Political Science at the Technische Universitat Darmstadt, Germany.

Jorg Broschek is author of a book on Canadian federalism (Der kanadische Foderalismus. Eine historisch-institutionalistische Analyse, Wiesbaden 2009). His articles have been published in academic journals including the Canadian Journal of Political Science, Publius: The Journal of Federalism, Regional and Federal Studies, and the Swiss Political Science Review. He is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the Technische Universitat Darmstadt. His current research focuses on institutional and policy change in federal systems.

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