1st Edition

Routledge Handbook of Subnational Constitutions and Constitutionalism

    362 Pages
    by Routledge

    362 Pages
    by Routledge

    This handbook provides a toolbox of definitions and typologies to develop a theory of multilevel constitutionalism and subnational constitutions.

    The volume examines systems with subnational entities that have full subnational constituent autonomy and systems where subnational constituent powers, while claimed by subnational governments, are incomplete or non-existent. Understanding why complete subnational constituent power exists or is denied sheds significant light on the status and functioning of subnational constitutions. The book deals with questions of how constitutions at multiple levels of a political system can co-exist and interact. The term ‘multilevel constitutionalism’, recognized as explaining how a supranational European constitution can exist alongside those of the Member States, is now used to capture dynamics between constitutions at the national, subnational and, where applicable, supranational levels. Broad in scope, the book encompasses many different types of multi-tiered systems world-wide to map the possible meanings, uses and challenges of subnational or state constitutions in a variety of political and societal contexts.

    The book develops the building blocks of an explanatory theory of subnational constitutionalism and as such will be an essential reference for all those interested in comparative constitutional law, federalism and governance.



    1. Subnational Constitutionalism: Defining subnational constitutions and self-constituent capacity
      Patricia Popelier, Nicholas Aroney and Giacomo Delledonne
    2. Subnational Constitutionalism in Argentina: Provincial autonomy in a uninational federation
      Antonio María Hernández
    3. Subnational Constitutionalism in Australia: State autonomy in a uninational federation
      Nicholas Aroney
    4. Subnational Constitutionalism in Austria: The pluralization of homogeneity
      Anna Gamper
    5. Subnational constitutionalism in Belgium: A matter of abstained maturity
      Patricia Popelier
    6. Subnational Constitutionalism in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Towering sub-national autonomy and a loose clamp of the central level to all intents and purposes
      Maja Sahadžić
    7. Subnational Constitutionalism in Brazil: The space of state constitutions for improving Brazilian federalism
      Marcelo Labanca Corrêa de Araújo
    8. Subnational Constitutionalism in Canada: A hysteretic approach to distinctive constitutional identities
      Benjamen Franklen Gussen
    9. Subnational Constitutionalism in Ethiopia: Constitutional déjà vu
      Yonatan T. Fessha
    10. Subnational Constitutionalism in Germany: Constitutional autonomy, unitarian federalism, and intertwined policymaking
      Werner Reutter
    11. Subnational Constitutionalism in India: Subnational constitutionalism or constitution within the Constitution?
      M.P. Singh and Rekha Saxena
    12. Subnational Constitutionalism in Italy: Unfulfilled expectations?
      Giacomo Delledonne, Matteo Monti and Giuseppe Martinico
    13. Subnational Constitutionalism in Malaysia: Weak states in a strong federation
      Richard Foo and ('HP') Lee
    14. Subnational constitutionalism in Mexico: Medium state autonomy in a centralized federation
      José Ma. Serna de la Garza
    15. Subnational Constitutionalism in South Africa: An empty promise
      Nico Steytler
    16. Subnational constitutionalism in Spain: Confluence of wills in a basic institutional norm
      Gonzalo Gabriel Carranza
    17. Subnational Constitutionalism in Switzerland: A sleeping beauty awaiting to be kissed
      Eva Maria Belser
    18. Subnational Constitutionalism in the United Kingdom: Constitutional statutes within the context of an uncodified constitution
      Nikos Skoutaris
    19. Subnational Constitutionalism in the United States: Powerful states in a powerful federation
      James A. Gardner

    Conclusion: Nine hypotheses to explain variation in subnational constitutional autonomy
    Patricia Popelier, Nicholas Aroney and Giacomo Delledonne


    Patricia Popelier is Full Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Antwerp, director of the Research Group on Government and Law, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Kent, Centre for Federal Studies and co-promoter of the Centre of Excellence GOVTRUST.

    Giacomo Delledonne is Assisant Professor of Comparative Constitutional Law at the Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Pisa, Italy.

    Nicholas Aroney is Professor of Constitutional Law and Fellow of the Centre for Public, International and Comparative Law at the University of Queensland.