The Value of Comparative Federalism : The Legacy of Ronald L. Watts book cover
1st Edition

The Value of Comparative Federalism
The Legacy of Ronald L. Watts

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ISBN 9781138361485
November 12, 2020 Forthcoming by Routledge India
208 Pages

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Book Description

This book explores new avenues of international research in comparative federal studies. It re-examines the conceptual tools and methodologies for understanding federal systems and the role of comparative federalism in the dissemination and implementation of federal concepts. It highlights the influence of comparative federalism on constitution-making as well as constitutional reforms.

The volume provides innovative and pragmatic perspectives both from the global north and south, with case studies drawn from established federations such as India, Canada, Australia, Austria, and emerging federal systems such as Italy and South Africa. Advocating a combined approach that integrates modern and traditional theoretical routes with practical insights and contemporary analyses, it discusses the issues of multilevel elections and federal governance; coalition governments and multiparty democracy in parliamentary federal systems such as India; minority empowerment; gender budgeting; self-governance; multinational federalism; unitary states; the nation-state; and ecological federalism. It also breaks new ground by looking at Indian federalism from a gender perspective, and deals with ideas of fiscal responsibility, legal tools and a social and cultural index.

A tribute to the intellectual legacy of Ronald L. Watts, this volume will be useful to scholars and researchers of political science, federalism, comparative federal studies, political studies, comparative politics, governance, public administration and law, development studies, South Asian studies, and Global South and North studies as well policymakers, international government bodies, research institutes, development experts, and other organisations working in the area.

Table of Contents

Foreword by John Kincaid



1.             Introduction

Nico Steytler and Balveer Arora

2.       Ronald L. Watts: The Pragmatism and Practice of Comparative Federalism

Nico Steytler

3.       Multilevel Elections and Federal Governance in Comparative Perspective

Balveer Arora and K.K. Kailash

4.       The Indian Federation: A New Phase of ‘Cooperative Federalism’ under Modi?

Mahendra Prasad Singh

5.       Gendering Federalism Discourse: A Comparative Analysis

Rekha Saxena

6.       The Fabulous Designs of Federal States: Taking a New Look at Old Parameters

Maria Bertel

7.       Empowering Minorities’ Societal Culture within Multinational Federations

Félix Mathieu and Dave Guénette

8.       Measuring Fiscal Responsibility: From 'Law in Books' to 'Law in Action'

Alice Valdesalici

9.       Can Federalism Degenerate? The Strange but Predictable Demise of the Federal Spirit in the Australian Polity

John Wanna


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Nico Steytler is Professor of Public Law, Dullah Omar Institute, University of the Western Cape, South Africa and South African Research Chair in Multilevel Government, Law and Development. He is a former member of the Financial and Fiscal Commission and former President of the International Association of Centres for Federal Studies. He has published widely on federalism, including Decentralisation and Constitutionalism in Africa (2019, co-edited); Concurrent Powers in Federal Systems: Meaning, Making, Managing (2017, edited); Local Government Law of South Africa (2019, co-authored), and Kenyan-South African Dialogue on Devolution (2015).

Balveer Arora is Chairman, Centre for Multilevel Federalism, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi, India; former Professor of Political Science, Centre for Political Studies, and former Rector and Pro Vice-Chancellor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India. He has been Visiting Professor at Sciences-Po, Paris; EHESS, Paris; FMSH, Paris; and University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. He is Officer in the Order of Academic Laurels (France) and Chevalier of the Legion of Honour (France). Among his publications are the coedited volumes Federalism in India: Origins and Development (1992); Multiple Identities in a Single State: Indian Federalism in Comparative Perspective (1995); Changing Role of the All-India Services (2000); and Transforming India: Socio-Political Dynamics of Democracy (2000).

Rekha Saxena is Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Delhi, New Delhi, India; Honorary Vice-Chairperson of the Centre for Multilevel Federalism at New Delhi; and Honorary Senior Advisor to the Forum of Federations, Ottawa, Canada. Her publications include Federalising India in the Age of Globalisation (2013, co-authored) and Indian Parliament: The Changing Landscape (2014).