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Comparative Federalism meets the European Union

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  • Tanja A. Boerzel
  • Madeleine O. Hosli
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    Abstract

    In the current debate on the future European order, the European Union is often described as an emerging federation. The paper claims that federalism is not only useful in deliberating about the future of the European Union. It provides a better understanding of the current structure and functioning of the European system of multilevel governance than most theories of European integration. We combine political and economic perspectives of federalism to analyze the balancing act between effective political representation and efficient policy-making in the European Union. Drawing on the examples of Germany and Switzerland in particular, we argue that the increasing delegation of powers to the central EU level needs to be paralleled by either strengthened patterns of fiscal federalism or an empowered representation of functional interests at the European level. Without such "re-balancing", the current legitimacy problems of EU are likely to get worse.

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    File URL: https://www.wiso.uni-hamburg.de/fileadmin/sowi/politik/governance/ConWeb_Papers/conweb2-2002.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University of Bath, Department of European Studies and Modern Languages in its series The Constitutionalism Web-Papers with number p0007.

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    Date of creation: 26 May 2002
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    Handle: RePEc:erp:conweb:p0007

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    Web page: http://www.bath.ac.uk/esml/

    Related research

    Keywords: federalism; multilevel governance; multilevel governance; political representation; interest representation; democracy;

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

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    1. Gordon Tullock, 1969. "Federalism: Problems of scale," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 19-29, March.
    2. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
    3. Giandomenico Majone, 1993. "The European Community Between Social Policy and Social Regulation," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(2), pages 153-170, 06.
    4. Thomas Risse-kappen, 1996. "Exploring the Nature of the Beast: International Relations Theory and Comparative Policy Analysis Meet the European Union," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(1), pages 53-80, 03.
    5. Richard A. Musgrave, 1997. "Devolution, Grants, and Fiscal Competition," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 65-72, Fall.
    6. Wallace E. Oates, 1999. "An Essay on Fiscal Federalism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1120-1149, September.
    7. Gary Marks & Liesbet Hooghe & Kermit Blank, 1996. "European Integration from the 1980s: State-Centric v. Multi-level Governance," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(3), pages 341-378, 09.
    8. Wintrobe, Ronald, 1987. "Competitive federalism and bureaucratic power," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 3(1-2), pages 9-31.
    9. Yingyi Qian & Barry R. Weingast, 1997. "Federalism as a Commitment to Reserving Market Incentives," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 83-92, Fall.
    10. Jacques Pelkmans, 1987. "The New Approach to Technical Harmonization and Standardization," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(3), pages 249-269, 03.
    11. Casella, Alessandra & Frey, Bruno, 1992. "Federalism and clubs : Towards an economic theory of overlapping political jurisdictions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(2-3), pages 639-646, April.
    12. Siebert, Horst & Koop, Michael J., 1993. "Institutional competition versus centralization: Quo vadis Europe?," Kiel Working Papers 548, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
    13. Sophie Meunier & Kalypso Nicolaïdis, 1999. "Who Speaks for Europe? The Delegation of Trade Authority in the EU," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(3), pages 477-501, 09.
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