A Research Agenda for Federalism Studies
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A Research Agenda for Federalism Studies

Edited by John Kincaid

In this forward-thinking book, fifteen leading scholars set forth cutting-edge agendas for research on significant facets of federalism, including basic theory, comparative studies, national and subnational constitutionalism, courts, self-rule and shared rule, centralization and decentralization, nationalism and diversity, conflict resolution, gender equity, and federalism challenges in Africa, Asia, and the European Union. More than 40 percent of the world’s population lives under federal arrangements, making federalism not only a major research subject but also a vital political issue worldwide.
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Chapter 10: Federalism and diversity: a new research agenda

Alain-G. Gagnon and Arjun Tremblay

Abstract

The chapter establishes a new research agenda for studying federalism and diversity which centres on recognition and empowerment of national and ethnic minorities. It argues that we must now ask and answer three central questions: (1) how do deeply diverse democracies arrive at or transition to a model of federalism that accurately reflects and represents ethnic and/or national differences? (2) How can we assess the quality of multinational and multiethnic federalism? (3) How can democracies recognize and accommodate national and ethnic diversity as well as other collective identities? The chapter shows that addressing these questions is an important endeavour. It also hopes to show that answering these questions is a necessary step forward in realizing federal democracy’s full potential, particularly at a time when the virtues of recognizing diversity are being questioned in many long-standing liberal democracies.

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