Federalism: Theory, Policy, Law

Daniel Halberstam

in The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Constitutional Law

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199578610
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Law

Federalism: Theory, Policy, Law

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This article focuses on federalism and attempts to lay the foundation for understanding the constitutional significance of arrangements among multiple levels of authority from private to global governance. The article is organized as follows. Section II critically examines the (relevance of) historical debates about defining federalism. Section III turns to arguments about the origins of federations. Section IV analyzes normative federalism theory and its applicability in legal disputes. Section V discusses the sustainability of federal systems. Section VI considers the consequences of federalism for various policy outputs. Section VII takes federalism beyond its traditional boundaries — first down to regional, local, and private governance, and then up into the global arena. A brief conclusion ends the article.

Keywords: federalism theory; federations; federal systems

Article.  19048 words. 

Subjects: Law ; Comparative Law ; Constitutional and Administrative Law

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