Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: August 16, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9780857021083 | Print ISBN: 9781412919760 | Online ISBN: 9780857021083| Publisher:SAGE Publications LtdAbout this handbook
Chapter 22: Comparative Federalism
Comparative federalism In relation to the study of other political institutions and processes in comparative government, scholarly work on federalism has always had uncertain status within political science. There are a number of reasons for this. First, students of federalism have long tended to conflate the normative and scientific by ascribing political desiderata such as freedom or democracy to the institution of federalism when this is patently not always the case. As a result many studies in the area have been dismissed as subjective and unscientific (Riker, 1964, Chapter 1). Second, because federalism involves the analysis of sub national government it has attracted scholars with interests in state and local government and in particular, American inter-governmental relations. Often, the resulting research has been largely descriptive or has limited implications beyond the limited world of US state and local politics. Third, the appeal of federal institutional arrangements has waxed and waned ...