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Comparative Federalism meets the European Union

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  • Tanja A. Boerzel
  • Madeleine O. Hosli

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Tanja A. Boerzel & Madeleine O. Hosli, 2002. "Comparative Federalism meets the European Union," The Constitutionalism Web-Papers p0007, University of Hamburg, Faculty for Economics and Social Sciences, Department of Social Sciences, Institute of Political Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:erp:conweb:p0007
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    File URL: https://www.wiso.uni-hamburg.de/fachbereich-sowi/professuren/wiener/dokumente/conwebpaperspdfs/2002/conweb2-2002.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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, June.
    2. Gordon Tullock, 1969. "Federalism: Problems of scale," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 19-29, March.
    3. 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.
    4. Jacques Pelkmans, 1987. "The New Approach to Technical Harmonization and Standardization," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(3), pages 249-269, March.
    5. Siebert, Horst & Koop, Michael J, 1993. "Institutional Competition versus Centralization: Quo Vadis Europe?," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(1), pages 15-30, Spring.
    6. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416-416.
    7. Wintrobe, Ronald, 1987. "Competitive federalism and bureaucratic power," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 3(1-2), pages 9-31.
    8. 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, September.
    9. Richard A. Musgrave, 1997. "Devolution, Grants, and Fiscal Competition," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 65-72, Fall.
    10. Wallace E. Oates, 1999. "An Essay on Fiscal Federalism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1120-1149, September.
    11. 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, March.
    12. 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, September.
    13. 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.
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    Keywords

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

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