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Federalism and Regional Autonomy

Dejan Guzina


Comment on this article   This essay will review the classical and contemporary literature on federalism and regional autonomy, identify recent changes in the treatment of federalism, assess current approaches, and suggest possible future trends. However, two clarifications are in order at the outset. First, federalism studies are not a separate branch of political science; rather, they straddle various fields, ranging from political philosophy, constitutional studies, and comparative politics to more recent research in political theory, political sociology, institutional studies, and political economy. And, second, even though many authors rightly identify the United States as the classic model of a federal state, most would agree that there is no single dominant tradition of federalism. Multination federations of a Canadian type, for instance, apply certain concepts (and practices) of citizenship, identity making, democracy, and regional autonomy that differ substantially from the American style of federalism. Still, despite these differences, students of federalism recognize both countries as federal states. The logical corollary of these two points is that methodological and/or conceptual purity in federalism studies is a higher-order objective that arguably will never be achieved. Hence, rather than evaluating federalism from the vantage point of one particular federalist ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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