Constructing Self-Enforcing Federalism in the Early United States and Modern Russia

The Journal of Federalism Advance Access, March 26, 2007

Posted: 30 Jun 2008

See all articles by Rui J.P. de Figueiredo

Rui J.P. de Figueiredo

University of California, Berkeley - Business & Public Policy Group

Michael McFaul

Cornell University

Barry R. Weingast

Stanford University, Department of Political Science

Date Written: March 2007

Abstract

All federal systems face the two fundamental dilemmas of federalism: too strong a center risks overawing the subnational units; and too weak a center risks free-riding that makes the system fall apart. Resolving the two dilemmas is problematic because mitigating one dilemma exacerbates the other. We develop a model of federal institutions that shows the circumstances under which both dilemmas can be solved so that federal institutions are self-enforcing. We apply our approach to modern Russia where we suggest that when the center is too strong, its ability to extract rents increases and the benefits for maintaining participation in the federal bargain disappears. We also suggest strong parallels between Russia and those of the early United States under the Articles of Confederation.

Suggested Citation

de Figueiredo, Rui José P. and McFaul, Michael and Weingast, Barry R., Constructing Self-Enforcing Federalism in the Early United States and Modern Russia (March 2007). The Journal of Federalism Advance Access, March 26, 2007 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1153437

Rui José P. De Figueiredo

University of California, Berkeley - Business & Public Policy Group ( email )

545 Student Services Building
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States
510-642-6452 (Phone)
510-643-1412 (Fax)

Michael McFaul

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

Barry R. Weingast (Contact Author)

Stanford University, Department of Political Science ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305-6010
United States
650-723-0497 (Phone)
650-723-1808 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.stanford.edu/group/mcnollgast/cgi-bin/wordpress/

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