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Journal Articles

Federalism

2011

Comparative and Foreign Law

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Sustainable Decentralization: Power, Extraconstitutional Influence, And Subnational Symmetry In The United States And Spain, James A. Gardner, Antoni Abat I Ninet Jan 2011

Sustainable Decentralization: Power, Extraconstitutional Influence, And Subnational Symmetry In The United States And Spain, James A. Gardner, Antoni Abat I Ninet

Journal Articles

In the Madisonian tradition of constitutional design, the foundation of a sustainable federalism is thought to be a scientifically precise balancing of national and subnational power. Experience shows, however, that national and subnational actors in highly diverse systems are capable of developing a rich array of extraconstitutional methods of mutual influence, so that the formal, constitutionalized balance of power rarely settles the question of the actual balance of power between levels of government. A more important factor in ensuring the long-term sustainability of a meaningfully federal system is the degree of symmetry across subnational units in their relation to the …