Layered Social Federalism: From the Myth of Exclusive Competences to the Categorical Imperative of Cooperation
in Cantillon, Bea, Popelier, Patricia & Mussche, Ninke (eds), Social Federalism: The Creation of a Layered Welfare State: The Belgian Case, Cambridge, Intersentia, 2011, pp 279-290
8 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2016
Date Written: January 1, 2011
In this paper, the author discusses Popelier, Cantillon and Mussche’s proposal to replace the principle of exclusivity of the distribution of competences by a larger catalogue of options. After summarizing the authors’ arguments for greater coordination between public actors (I), she reflects on some potential advantages and risks of altering and/or adopting alternative modes of distribution of competences (II); the potential legitimisation of the so-called “spending power” (III); the ghost of the “joint decision trap” (IV) and the virtues and hazards of cooperation (V). She then offers some remarks on the link between social protection and identity politics in a multinational context, and concludes that Popelier, Cantillon and Mussche’s proposal should be given serious consideration (VI).
Keywords: distribution of competences, social protection, coordination, cooperation, public actors, spending power, joint decision trap, identity politics, multinational, federalism, Belgium
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