Edited by Ehtisham Ahmad and Giorgio Brosio
Chapter 3: Toward a positive theory of federalism and political decentralization
The meaning of the words ‘positive theory’ in the title of this chapter is not self-evident. A part, but only a part, of the meaning is provided by John Neville Keynes’s (1890: 34) well-known and widely accepted distinction between positive and normative science with the first defined ‘as a body of systematized knowledge concerning what is’ – or in the words of Paul Anthony Samuelson (1983: 7) concerning ‘some part of the world of reality . . . .’ In the present chapter ‘what is’ or ‘some part of the world of reality’ concerns federalism and political decentralization generally, a most important genus among the latter being decentralized unitary states. The title also makes use of the word ‘toward’ to emphasize that the approach adumbrated in the chapter is far from full or complete. Much more research will be required before one can do away with such words. Federalism and political decentralization are dimensions of the organization of governmental systems. Four among those that may be called the structural dimensions of these systems are: (a) the number of jurisdictional tiers or levels; (b) the number of units – such as provinces and municipalities – at all tiers below the central (or national) level; (c) the size and size-distribution of units at each level (again, except at the centre); and (d) the constitutional–legal status of units at each tier.
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.