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Thomas O. Hueglin

Hueglin argues that federalism studies have remained undertheorized and that political theory has taken little notice of federalism as a normative proposition. He identifies four federalism-related concepts for further theoretical reflection: First, the idea of federalism offers a plural understanding of territorial identity that may contribute to a more complex understanding of self-determination; second, federalism comprises an ideational understanding of particular autonomy bounded in the universality of a common enterprise and protected by considerations of subsidiarity; third, a core principle of federalism, membership equality, invites reflection not only on the political legitimacy of majority rule, but also on the tension between the symmetry of equality and the asymmetry of diversity; fourth, the commitment to social solidarity embedded in the agreement to establish a federal union raises critical questions about the liberal separation of state and market. The chapter ends with the suggestion that democracy might learn from federalism.

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Mark Tushnet