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 16: Federalism and the European Union: asymmetry, policies and some recurring federal dilemmas

Francesco Palermo

Abstract

While neither a state nor a federation, the EU operates in a significantly federal mode, and the very account of European integration derives from federalism. From its sui generis perspective, the EU can therefore offer valuable insights for a research agenda on federalism. The chapter identifies three main areas in this respect. The first regards secession, looked at from the angle of Brexit, its procedural regulation and the possible repercussions on the order from which one component unit splits. The second is policy analysis. The examples of critical policies such as monetary union and immigration raise significant issues for federal studies, such as the challenges of division of powers, the establishment of parallel structures, and the consequences of the hegemonic role of one individual country. The third is asymmetry in institutions, policies and procedures, which is a structural element not only of the EU but more generally of contemporary federalism.

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