Table of Contents

Constitutional Economics and Public Institutions

Constitutional Economics and Public Institutions

New Thinking in Political Economy series

Edited by Francisco Cabrillo and Miguel A. Puchades-Navarro

This extensive book explores in detail a wide range of topics within the public choice and constitutional political economy tradition, providing a comprehensive overview of current work across the field.

Chapter 6: Democracy-preserving institutions: the quasi-federal system of South Africa

Giorgio Brosio

Subjects: economics and finance, public choice theory, politics and public policy, public choice


Since Montesquieu, de Tocqueville and the Federalists, federal and decentralized systems are considered as a political/constitutional medicine for introducing/preserving/enhancing democratic rule. This argument has been recently used for recommending federal/decentralized arrangements – as a starter of democracy – in a number of countries, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and Sudan, and all with no tradition of democratic institutions. It has also been, and is still, used – as a preserving/ enhancing mechanism – for countries with democratic institutions that have been, or could be, put at risk by potentially democracy-undermining practices, such as sustained single party rule, as in the case of Mexico, or as at present in South Africa. The present chapter intends to contribute to this debate by illustrating and debating the case of South Africa, one of the most interesting cases of current decentralization processes. This interest stems not only from the peculiarities of the fiscal institutions that have been introduced and/ or transformed, but also from the peculiar socio-political framework in which the transformation is taking place.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information