Research finds federalism still effective against would-be strongmen like Trump

February 19, 2019, University of Kent

The fear that states in federal countries are destined to lose their powers to central government is unwarranted, new research at the University of Kent has found.

An international project on centralisation and decentralisation in federations—the first major study of its kind—finds that centralisation is not inevitable. Even the United States, where federalism is often seen as being at risk, is less centralised than many think.

A team led by Dr. Paolo Dardanelli, Reader in Comparative Politics at Kent's School of Politics and International Relations, measured centralisation and decentralisation in 22 policy fields and five fiscal categories in Australia, Canada, Germany, India, Switzerland, and the United States from 1790 to 2010.

Among their key findings they discovered that:

  • There has been centralisation in terms of legislation but less so as regards administration and fiscal revenues
  • Canada has bucked the trend and become more decentralised in all three dimensions (legislatively, administratively, and fiscally). Germany and India have also become more decentralised in recent decades
  • De/centralisation dynamics are driven primarily by socio-economic factors such as market integration and the demand for welfare service.
  • Different systems follow different paths to de/centralisation depending on features such as the constitutional amendment process and the role of the courts

Dr. Dardanelli said: 'The USA today shows that the states have retained major powers and use them effectively. Some of the most spirited opposition to Trump's policies have come from the states rather than Congress.'

The project findings are published in a special issue of Publius: The Journal of Federalism and the dataset is available from the UK Data Service.

Explore further: Centralizing stroke services can reduce deaths and time in hospital

More information: Paolo Dardanelli et al, Conceptualizing, Measuring, and Theorizing Dynamic De/Centralization in Federations, Publius: The Journal of Federalism (2018). DOI: 10.1093/publius/pjy036

Related Stories

Your next social network could pay you for posting

January 25, 2017

You may well have found this article through Facebook. An algorithm programmed by one of the world's biggest companies now partially controls what news reaches 1.8 billion people. And this algorithm has come under attack ...

Recommended for you

Coffee-based colloids for direct solar absorption

March 22, 2019

Solar energy is one of the most promising resources to help reduce fossil fuel consumption and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions to power a sustainable future. Devices presently in use to convert solar energy into thermal ...

EPA adviser is promoting harmful ideas, scientists say

March 22, 2019

The Trump administration's reliance on industry-funded environmental specialists is again coming under fire, this time by researchers who say that Louis Anthony "Tony" Cox Jr., who leads a key Environmental Protection Agency ...

10 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

BobSage
5 / 5 (1) Feb 19, 2019
Who wrote this headline??????
Da Schneib
1 / 5 (1) Feb 19, 2019
You wanted States' Rights. Now you got it and you're complaining.
snoosebaum
5 / 5 (2) Feb 19, 2019

who ?

somebody wanting civil war
Da Schneib
3.7 / 5 (3) Feb 19, 2019
Yep, and as of the Nixon "Southern Strategy" who wants a civil war?

Who keeps trumpeting about how many guns they have?
Jonseer
3 / 5 (2) Feb 19, 2019
Who wrote this headline??????

Let me guess... You are in shock that elsewhere in the world the Prez you worship is seen as nothing more than a wanna-be dictator by the rest of the world.

No doubt you Trump worshiping sensibilities were so offended by the headline you didn't read past that blasphemy.

If you had read to the end you would have noticed the article was provided by the University of Kent which is in the UK. Science X felt no qualms using this headline because they are based out of the Isle of Mann / UK.

So there is no need to stress. None of the 6 corporations that own the vast majority of the American Corporate News Establishment (ACNE) have the balls to refer to him that way lest they incur the rath of 30% of the USA his blind followers who think he is the greatest prez. ever.
rrwillsj
1 / 5 (1) Feb 23, 2019
Yeah, you can always tell when the altright fairytails claim to revere the Constitution.?
If they ever were chained down & forced to read the document?
It would make their empty noggins steam-explode reading the ENTIRE 2nd Amendment.

To have to confront the reality that the Founding Fathers intended it as a protection of Sovereign States Rights.

You want military-grade ordinance? You will have tp pry your lazy, fat pink-ass off your momma's basement couch...
Each weekend!
To drill with your local State Militia unit.

Hah! Wouldn't that ve a laugh watching them bumblers stumble around on an early weekend morning? Tripping over their own bootlaces whenever they weren't dropping their rifles on their own feet.
Butt, it sure would be fun as the sadsacks Drill Instructor!
MR166
5 / 5 (1) Feb 23, 2019
What this thread fails to recognize is the fact that Liberals not Conservatives are the ones in favor of a stronger federal government and a weaker state government. Trump has reduced federal regulations and the Liberals are fit to be tied.
MR166
5 / 5 (1) Feb 23, 2019
The article calls Trump a "Strongman" because he wants to enforce EXISTING laws vs previous administrations that would only enforce the laws that furthered their political agenda. I ask you who really is the strongman in this case?
MR166
5 / 5 (2) Feb 23, 2019
This paper is typical of the climate change research papers. The agenda is chosen before the "research" even begins.
rrwillsj
1 / 5 (2) Feb 23, 2019
Completely missing the point, three more times. Missy666, you should go back to playing with your dolls.

Oh, excuse me!
Your Manly-Man Action Figures.
"Too Insanity!"
"& Beyond!"
"At Ludicrous Speed!"

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.