Chapter

Centralization and Its Discontents: The Rhythms of Federalism in the United States and the European Union

John D. Donahue and Mark A. Pollack

in The Federal Vision

Published in print November 2001 | ISBN: 9780199245000
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599996 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199245002.003.0004
 Centralization and Its Discontents: The Rhythms of Federalism in the United States and the European Union

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Identifies some general themes that typically figure in particular policy debates in the USA and the European Union. It first traces, in the broadest possible outlines, the historical rhythm of centralization and decentralization in the USA and the EU, and then offers a few observations, for each polity, on the phase of the cycle at the start of the twenty‐first century, discussing the rhythms of federalism in the USA, and the EU experience of integration and subsidiarity. The generic arguments that drive the specific debates involved often concern geography‐linked diversity, the advantages and disadvantages that come with governmental scale, the role of autonomous governments as testbeds for innovation, and the alignment of choice and consequence to minimize policy externalities.

Keywords: centralization; decentralization; European integration; European Union; federalism; policy debates; subsidiarity; USA

Chapter.  18956 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: European Union

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