Rethinking Decentralization

Rethinking Decentralization

Jacob Deem

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Federal countries face innumerable challenges including public health crises, economic uncertainty, and widespread public distrust in governing institutions. They are also home to 40 per cent of the world’s population.

Rethinking Decentralization explores the question of what makes a successful federal government by examining the unique role of public attitudes in maintaining the fragile institutions of federalism. Conventional wisdom is that successful federal governance is predicated on the degree to which authority is devolved to lower levels of government and the extent to which citizens display a “federal spirit” – a term often referenced but rarely defined. Jacob Deem puts these claims to the test, examining public attitudes in Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Deem demonstrates how the role of citizen attachment to particular manifestations of decentralization, subsidiarity, and federalism is unique to each country and a reflection of its history, institutions, and culture.

Essential reading for policymakers, academics, and everyday citizens, Rethinking Decentralization re-centres the public to offer a nuanced way of thinking about federal governance.

Product details

ISBN-13: 9780228017363

Number of pages: 232

Format: Paperback / softback Trade paperback (US)

Imprint: McGill-Queen's University Press

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