Federalism: A Critical Guide
University of Michigan Law School
September 9, 2011
U of Michigan Public Law Working Paper No. 251
Published as "Federalism: Theory, Policy, Law," in M. Rosenfeld and A. Sajo, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Constitutional Law 576-608 (Oxford: OUP 2012).
This sweeping paper provides a concise critical overview of federalism scholarship and practice in comparative and interdisciplinary perspective. It presents and critiques historical debates about defining federalism, maps out a comprehensive normative theory of federalism, suggests the centrality of a refined theory to legal disputes, discusses the significance of new institutional theory, and reconsiders the purported consequences of federal architecture for key issues such as policy stability and polity stability. The paper closes by exploring avenues for expanding the reach of federalism all the way from private to global governance.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 52
Keywords: Federalism, federation, autonomy
JEL Classification: K10
Date posted: September 9, 2011 ; Last revised: February 3, 2013