Federalism and Governance - PO866

Sorry, this module is not currently running in 2019-20.







The module uses the concept of federalism as a tool to analyse a wide range of political structures and processes, all of which have at their heart the purpose of diffusing political power. Focusing initially on classical federal states, and exploring their multi-level organisation of political authority, the module will continue to explore the relevance and use of federalism in contemporary national and supra-national institutions. Special attention will be paid to the European Union and to its multi-level framework of governance, as well as to the concepts closely related to federalism, such as consociationalism.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

11 two-hour lecture/seminars

Method of assessment

100% coursework (one critical review (=1,500 words) on one or two designated journal articles or books contained within the reading list (30%), one essay (=4,000 words) (70%))

Indicative reading

Bache, Ian, and Matthew Flinders, eds. Multi-level Governance. Oxford University Press, 2004.
Burgess, Michael. Comparative Federalism: Theory and Practice. Routledge, 2006.
Burgess, Michael. In Search of the Federal Spirit: New Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives in Comparative Federalism. Oxford University Press, 2012.
Elazar, Daniel J. Exploring Federalism. University of Alabama Press, 1987.
Friedrich, Carl J. Trends of Federalism in Theory and Practice. Praeger, 1968.
Gagnon, Alain-G., Soeren Keil, and Sean Mueller, eds. Understanding Federalism and Federation. Ashgate, 2015.
Gaudreault-DesBiens, Jean-François, and Fabien Gélinas, eds. The States and Moods of Federalism: Governance, Identity and Methodology. Éditions Yvon Blais 2005.
Hueglin, Thomas O., and Alan Fenna. Comparative Federalism: A Systematic Enquiry. University of Toronto Press, 2015.
Karmis, Dimitrios, and Wayne Norman, eds. Theories of Federalism: A Reader. Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.
King, Preston. Federalism and Federation. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1982.
Ward, Ann, and Lee Ward, eds. The Ashgate Research Companion to Federalism, Ashgate, 2009.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will:
- Have a detailed and critical understanding of the core concepts, theories and debates relating to federalism and multi-level governance
- Have a good understanding of the role and the limits of federal institutions in conflict management
- Have a good understanding of, and an ability to use, the main analytic tools deployed in assessing multi-level forms of governance
- Have a good understanding of European integration through a federal lens

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