Routledge Handbook of Subnational Constitutions and Constitutionalism  book cover
1st Edition

Routledge Handbook of Subnational Constitutions and Constitutionalism

ISBN 9780367510152
Published September 22, 2021 by Routledge
362 Pages

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents



  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

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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.