Chapter 4 Federalism and constitutionalism: a relation based on interdependency
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Both federalism and constitutionalism are instruments to constrain power by dividing it (federalism) and limiting it (constitutionalism) by means of institutional, procedural and other rules. The combination with constitutionalism determines the effectiveness of federalism, helping to make federal systems both robust and adaptable. Only through constitutionalism can federalism effectively perform its main function: protecting more than one interest by the multiplication of decision-making instances that, among different orders of government, fragment and dilute the majority principle and guarantee pluralism. By serving pluralism, federalism is inherently linked to constitutionalism's democratic dimension, namely norms which lay down precepts such as the rule of law, human rights, and the separation of powers. Without constitutionalism and the rule of law, federalism cannot democratically organize pluralism. The chapter explains the interrelations and interdependency between federalism and constitutionalism and offers guidance as to how to explain this link in teaching and examinations.

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