Rethinking Federalism: Citizens, Markets, and Governments in a Changing World

Rethinking Federalism: Citizens, Markets, and Governments in a Changing World

English | Nov. 1, 2002 | ISBN: 0774805005 | 365 Pages | PDF | 19.82 MB

Federalism is simultaneously a set of institutions - the division of public authority between two or more constitutionally defined orders of government - and a set of ideas, which underpin shared and divided sovereignty, multiple loyalties and identities, and governance through multi-level institutions. Increasingly the latter are not only central and state governments, but also local and supra-national. Federalism, as defined in this book, is deeply relevant to a wide range of issues facing contemporary societies. Global economic and social developments are forcing a rethinking of the role of the central state; and power and authority are diffusing, both downwards to local and state institutions and upwards to supra-national bodies. Economic restructuring is altering economic relationships within countries as well as countries' relationships with each other. At a societal level, the recent growth of ethnic and regional nationalism - most dramatically in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, but also in many countries in Western Europe and in North America - is forcing the rethinking of the relationship between state and nations and of the meaning and content of "citizenship". "Rethinking federalism" explores all the issues of citizens, markets, and governance through the lens of federal ideas and experiences. It brings together an international group of authors who examine federalism and federalist debates in several different historical and geographic context: Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, where old regimes have come apart and ethnic divisions within and between countries produce a crazy-quilt of ethnic tensions; Western Europe, where simultaneously a quasi-federal Europe is being built while decentralization is occurring within many of its member states; and North America, where Canadian federalism wrestles with linguistic and regional diversity, the United States sometimes looks to federalism to overcome sclerosis at the centre, and North American Free Trade raises the question of whether economic integration also has a political dimension.

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