Subject: Federalism

April 2019, Volume 30, Issue 2

Catalonia: The Perils of Majoritarianism

Spain’s system of Autonomous Communities had functioned fairly smoothly for decades following the country’s democratic transition, but events in Catalonia are putting it under unprecedented strain.

July 2017, Volume 28, Issue 3

India’s Democracy at 70: The Federalist Compromise

The institutionalized recognition of diversity within India’s federal system has been crucial for democratic consolidation. Substantial decentralization since the 1990s has made state governments central actors in shaping economic activity and national-election outcomes. However, since his rise to national office in 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has projected an image of strong, central leadership. He…

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April 2016, Volume 27, Issue 2

Burma Votes for Change: The Challenges Ahead

Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy swept Burma’s November 2015 elections. Will the new NLD-led government be able to live up to high expectations that it will deliver better governance, national reconciliation, and some form of federalism?

July 2010, Volume 21, Issue 3

The Rise of “State-Nations”

Must every state be a nation and every nation a state? Or should we look instead to the example of countries such as India, where one state holds together a congeries of “national” groups and cultures in a single and wisely conceived federal republic?

January 2010, Volume 21, Issue 1

Twenty-Five Years, Fifteen Findings

A coauthor of the pathbreaking study Transitions from Authoritarian Rule reflects on the lessons that he has learned about democratic transition and consolidation since the publication of this work nearly 25 years ago.

April 2009, Volume 20, Issue 2

Hugo Chávez’s “Petro-Socialism”

Will Hugo Chávez’s victory in the 15 February 2009 vote to end term limits enable him to drive Venezuela toward “Bolivarian socialism”? There are reasons to doubt this, but for now democracy’s prospects do not look encouraging.

January 2006, Volume 17, Issue 1

Russia: Authoritarianism Without Authority

Vladimir Putin has pulled the plug on democracy in Russia in an effort to strengthen the authority of the central state. But a look at Russian federal relations shows that the state is growing weaker rather than stronger.

July 2003, Volume 14, Issue 3

A Model for Post-Saddam Iraq

If Iraq is successfully to democratize and an inclusive democratic culture is to emerge, the Iraqi state must be reconstituted as a federal and strongly liberal system and thoroughly demilitarized.

April 2002, Volume 13, Issue 2

A New Look at Federalism: The Import of Institutions

A new research project suggests that federalism enhances the ability of regimes to accommodate territorially based minorities. Federal systems, except when imposed by an outside power, significantly help to preserve the peace.

April 2002, Volume 13, Issue 2

A New Look at Federalism: Italy Decentralizes

Italy has long mixed great local and regional diversity with a unitary approach to governance. In October 2001, however, Italian voters approved a series of changes to their country’s Constitution that could mark a decisive turn toward federalism.