IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/bla/ijurrs/v23y1999i3p479-512.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Regionalism and Federalism: a Comparative Analysis of the Regulation of Economic Tensions between Regions by Canadian and American Federal Intergovernmental Transfer Programmes

Author

Listed:
  • Bruno Théret

Abstract

Regionalization is a contradictory process meaning both subnational "fragmentation" of territorial states and their supranational "integration" at a larger scale. In this paper federalism, as a division of sovereignty between several orders of government within the same political system, is conceived as an institution designed to regulate regionalization. But federal pacts are subject to two symmetrical risks: either, a risk of a centralizing drift towards a unitary state; or a risk of disintegrating into as many sovereign states as previous federated units. Thus, in the first section of the paper, we define a 'true'federal system as a political order where an institutional device permanently tackles the problem of self-conservation of the federal principle. Then, in the second section, we show that self-conservation of a federal system or its evolution towards centralization or dissolution, are not first order dependent on economic issues, but on specific institutional forms that rule the game of political and social actors. To demonstrate this we take a comparative view of equalization programmes for tax revenues which distinguish Canadian federalism from its US counterpart. For these programmes channel competition between governments on political grounds and participate in the self-reproduction of the federal covenant. On the contrary, a lack of equalization liberates economic competition between federal states - tax war, social dumping - and leaves the ground free for centralization or dissolution of the federation. Copyright Joint Editors and Blackwell Publishers Ltd 1999.

Suggested Citation

  • Bruno Théret, 1999. "Regionalism and Federalism: a Comparative Analysis of the Regulation of Economic Tensions between Regions by Canadian and American Federal Intergovernmental Transfer Programmes," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(3), pages 479-512, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ijurrs:v:23:y:1999:i:3:p:479-512
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1468-2427.00209
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Kristina Babich & Daniel Béland, 2007. "Creating the Canada/Quebec Pension Plans: An Historical and Political Analysis," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 223, McMaster University.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:ijurrs:v:23:y:1999:i:3:p:479-512. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0309-1317 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.