Comparing Federal Systems / Edition 2

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Countries studied include the United States, Switzerland, Australia, Austria, and Germany as examples of developed industrial societies; India and Malaysia as examples of multilingual and multicultural federations; Belgium and Spain as examples of emerging federal systems that illustrate bicommunal and asymmetrical approaches; and Czechoslovakia and Pakistan as examples of bicommunal federations that have failed. Watts compares the interaction of social diversity and political institutions, distribution of powers and finances, processes contributing to flexibility or rigidity in adjustment, extent of internal symmetry or asymmetry, degree of centralization and decentralization, character of representation in federal institutions, role of constitutions and courts, provisions for constitutional rights and secession, and pathology in federations.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"He has produced a masterful synthesis, a kind of basic comparative handbook which reflects dedicated study of, long experience with, and penetrating insights into the formal and procedural manifestation of federalism n the world today." Daniel J. Elazar, Publius: The Journal of Federalism. "This is a work I recommend without reservation to al those who are interested in Canadian comparative federalism and who especially wish to relate to the Canadian experience to those of other federations." Réjean Pelletier, Politique et societés du Québec.
In this update of the first edition, , Watts (emeritus, political studies, Queen's U.) samples the 23 federal systems worldwide for their relevance to Canadian issues. Lacks an index. Canadian card order #: C99-931625-7. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780889118355
  • Publisher: McGill-Queens University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/1999
  • Series: Institute of Intergovernmental Relations Series
  • Edition description: Subsequent
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 130
  • Product dimensions: 6.03 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.45 (d)

Meet the Author

Ronald L. Watts is principal emeritus and professor emeritus, political studies, and fellow and former director of the Institute of Intergovernmental Relations at Queen's University, and fellow of the international Forum of Federations. From 1991 to 1998

Ronald L. Watts is principal emeritus and professor emeritus, political studies, and fellow and former director of the Institute of Intergovernmental Relations at Queen's University, and fellow of the international Forum of Federations. From 1991 to 1998

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Table of Contents

List of Tables

List of Figures

1 Introduction

2 Overview of Contemporary Federations

3 The Formation of Federations

4 The Constituent Units

5 The Distribution of Authority in Federations

6 The Distribution of Finances

7 Intergovernmental Relations

8 Symmetry and Asymmetry in Federations

9 Multilevel Federal Systems

10 The Representative Institutions of Federal Governments

11 Constitutional Supremacy in Federations

12 Degrees of Decentralization and Non-Centralization in Federations

13 The Pathology of Federations

14 Conclusions

App. A The Distribution of Powers and Functions in Selected Federations: A Comparative Overview

Selected Readings

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