1st Edition

Defensive Federalism Protecting Territorial Minorities from the "Tyranny of the Majority"

Edited By Ferran Requejo, Marc Sanjaume-Calvet Copyright 2023
    226 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    226 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Defensive Federalism presents an original contribution to the field of federalism and multinational democracies, exploring the concept of defensive federalism as a protection of self- government against the "tyranny of the majority".

    The empirical evidence on federal and regional polities often shows critical imbalances in the territorial division of powers beyond what has been formally established in the constitutional rules. This volume highlights the rights, institutions, decision- making processes and procedural rules that can protect and develop the practical political, economic and cultural powers of federated and regional entities, especially those linked to territorial national minorities. The authors focus on federalism as a safeguard of self- rule, as well as a set of institutional and procedural rules to avoid the territorial dimension of the "tyranny of the majority". They answer two fundamental questions: how is it possible to design new stable and fairer federal agreements between national minorities and majorities where there is no single ideal solution? Is there a need for a new kind of "defensive federal model" for approaching national pluralism in liberal democracies?

    This book will be of great interest to students and scholars of federalism, national diversity and democracy, as well as policymakers and practitioners in both public and private institutions.

    Chapter 8 of this book is freely available as a downloadable Open Access PDF under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license available at http://www.taylorfrancis.com

    1. Defensive Federalism: Tackling the Two Faces of the Territorial Tyranny of the Majority. A Revised Federal Institutional Design

    Ferran Requejo and Marc Sanjaume-Calvet

    2. Consociational Executives: Power-Sharing Governments Between Inclusion and Functionality?

    Allison McCulloch

    3. Exclusive Powers and Self-Governed Entities: A Tool for Defensive Federalism?

    Patricia Popelier

    4. The Limits of Self Rule without Shared Rule

    Nicola McEwen

    5. Constitutional Asymmetries as an (In)effective Counterbalancing Tool in Protecting Territorial Self-Government?

    Maja Sahadžić

    6. Political Asymmetries: ‘Opting In and Opting Out’ Decision-Making Procedures in Canada

    Kenneth McRoberts

    7. Agreeing to Disagree: Federal Veto Powers in Switzerland

    Sean Mueller

    8. The Role of Constitutional Judges in Protecting Territorial Self-Government

    Karl Kössler

    9. The Defensiveness of Nation-States: Preventing Majority Domination in the European Union

    Peter A. Kraus

    10. Federal Chiaroscuros: Concluding Remarks

    Ferran Requejo and Marc Sanjaume-Calvet


    Ferran Requejo is Professor of Political Science at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, where he is Director of the Research Group on Political Theory. He has been Director of the Institute of Self- Government Studies, member of the Spanish Electoral Board and member of the Advisory Council for the National Transition. He has been awarded the Rudolf Wildenmann Prize (ECPR), the Ramon Trias Fargas Prize and the Spanish Political Science Association Prize for the best book (Multinational Federalism and Value Pluralism, Routledge 2005). His main fields of research are theories of democracy, federalism, multinational democracies, political philosophy and liberalism after World War II.

    Marc Sanjaume- Calvet is Assistant Professor in Political Theory at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. He is a former advisor and researcher at the Institute of Self- Government Studies. In 2015, he received the International Association of Centres of Federal Studies Young Researcher Award (IACFS). His main fields of research are federalism, theories of self- determination and secession, multinational democracies and political theory.