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Chapter

Theories of federalism can provide a set of assumptions, concepts, and arguments that shed light on many aspects of European integration. Applying the federalism perspective opens up EU scholars to a range of relevant comparative cases that provide analytic leverage and insight on the EU. This perspective also enables EU scholars to draw on and contribute to a well-established literature in comparative politics, thus connecting their findings about the EU to broader academic debates. EU scholars have applied theories of federalism to help explain a wide range of questions about European integration, from general questions about why and how the EU came together as a political system to narrow questions about very specific policy areas, to the causes and consequences of the EU’s recent crises. This chapter discusses the main assumptions, concepts, and methodologies in federalism theories of the EU, and explores how this perspective can shed light on the eurozone crisis and the crisis of democratic backsliding among EU member states.

Chapter

Thsi chapter considers territory in European politics. The idea is that policy-making in Europe acts like a system of multilevel governance. Here, policy authority which exists at the national level, is increasingly being shared with institutions at the supranational European Union (EU) level and by regional governments at the subnational level. The chapter also looks at concepts such as pooling, delegation of policy authority, federalism, and decentralization. Although we tend to think of nation-states as the building blocks of modern politics, more and more, this chapter agues, we must consider how these so-called building blocks interact with each other and also what they themselves are made up of. This is where the term multilevel governance is relevant. This term characterizes the complex relationship of policy authority between political actors situated at different territorial levels of governance.

Chapter

Michael Keating

This chapter examines the division of power between different levels of government in European countries. Some states are unitary, while others are federal with a constitutional division of power between the centre and the federal regions. Even within unitary states there are local and regional levels of government. The major debates about centralization versus decentralization are reviewed, including arguments about economic efficiency, democratic quality, and equity. The chapter also examines nationalist movements within states and the way they have sought greater autonomy or even secession. Finally, it considers issues of rescaling—that is, the shift of power and tasks across different levels—especially in the context of European integration.

Chapter

This chapter examines how laws, constitutions, and federalism provide structure to the context of political life. It first considers the importance of constitutions in determining the basic structure of the state and the fundamental rights of citizens that they establish before asking whether the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is Western-centric. It then explores different ways in which states may attempt to realize justice in applying the law, with particular emphasis on differences between Islamic and Western practice. It also discusses the importance of constitutional courts, the ways that the institution of federalism contains the powers of the state and manage diverse societies, and consociationalism as an alternative approach to managing such diversity. Finally, it comments on the increasing legalization of political life.

Chapter

Brigid Laffan

This chapter is structured around four scenarios on the future of the EU: ‘Disintegration’, ‘Piecemeal Adjustment’, ‘Functional Federalism’, and ‘A European Sovereignty’. The chapter argues that, although systemic disintegration is unlikely, there are disintegrative fissures in the EU arising from Brexit, the victories of secessionist movements in Catalonia, and heightened political volatility across the continent. The political battle concerning the future of the Union is a battle that cuts across all four scenarios. It is evident that disintegrative fissures cannot be ignored. ‘Piecemeal Adjustment’, the dominant response to the EU crisis and to events on Europe’s borders, continues to have resonance, as does ‘Functional Federalism’, defined as further integration but in specific fields. The fourth scenario, ‘a European Sovereignty’ has re-emerged on the political agenda with the election of French President Macron in May 2017. The discussion of the four scenarios is followed by a review of the external challenges bearing down on Europe and the Franco-German relationship as intervening factors that will shape any future scenario for the EU.

Chapter

Liesbet Hooghe, Gary Marks, and Arjan H. Schakel

This chapter examines multilevel governance, the dispersion of authority to jurisdictions within and beyond national states. It summarizes the tremendous growth of multilevel governance since World War II, and reviews the major theories that seek to explain this. Whereas economists and public policy analysts explain multilevel governance as a functionalist adaptation to the provision of public goods, sociologists and political scientists focus on the effects of territorial identity and distributional conflict. These approaches complement each other, and today researchers draw on them to explain variation over time and across space. The chapter concludes by discussing three topics that have been affected by multilevel governance: democratic representation, ethno-territorial conflict, and social policy.

Chapter

This chapter explores the interrelationships between law, constitutions, and federalism. It first explains the importance of constitutions in shaping the basic structure of the state and the fundamental rights of citizens that they establish before discussing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in particular asking whether it is Western-centric. It then considers the ways in which states may attempt to realize justice in applying the law, with emphasis on the distinction between Islamic and Western practice. It also examines the role of constitutional courts and judicial review, legal adjudication of political problems, how the institution of federalism is used to contain the powers of the state and to manage diverse societies, and consociationalism as an alternative approach to handling social diversity. Finally, it analyses the increasing legalization of political life.

Chapter

Brigid Laffan

This chapter is structured around four scenarios on the future of the European Union (EU): ‘Disintegration’, ‘Piecemeal Adjustment’, ‘Functional Federalism’, and ‘A European Sovereignty’. The EU is now facing the immense challenges of climate change, the accelerating digital transformation, Europe’s unstable neighborhood and the impact on Europe’s role in the world arising from the return of Great Power competition, all against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences. The perennial questions about the EU remain—how does it collectively amass sufficient political authority to address Europe’s challenges while maintaining its legitimacy? How can it be resilient as a Union while managing the deep diversity that characterizes Europe? Disintegrative fissures cannot be ignored. Piecemeal Adjustment continues to have resonance, as does Functional Federalism,. ‘A European Sovereignty’ sometimes defined as ‘strategic autonomy’ emerged on the political agenda with the election of French President Macron in May 2017.

Chapter

This chapter charts the long history of plans for European unity, from the end of the Second World War to the Hague Congress, the Cold War, the Schuman Plan, and the Treaty of Paris. It also considers European federalism and the practical reasons why some moves to European unity found favour with the new governments of the post-war period: the threat of communism and the emergence of the Cold War; the so-called German Problem; and the need to ensure adequate supplies of coal for the post-war economic reconstruction. As a solution to these intersecting problems, Jean Monnet, came up with a proposal that paved the way for the establishment of the European Coal and Steel Community. The chapter examines Monnet’s proposal, national reactions to it, and the negotiations that led to the creation of the first of the European communities.