A Research Agenda for Federalism Studies
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A Research Agenda for Federalism Studies

Edited by John Kincaid

In this forward-thinking book, fifteen leading scholars set forth cutting-edge agendas for research on significant facets of federalism, including basic theory, comparative studies, national and subnational constitutionalism, courts, self-rule and shared rule, centralization and decentralization, nationalism and diversity, conflict resolution, gender equity, and federalism challenges in Africa, Asia, and the European Union. More than 40 percent of the world’s population lives under federal arrangements, making federalism not only a major research subject but also a vital political issue worldwide.
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Chapter 8: De/centralization

Paolo Dardanelli

Abstract

This chapter briefly takes stock of the research literature on de/centralization in federations and identifies avenues for future research. It focuses on four broad domains: conceptualization, theorization, methodology and empirics. It highlights that important questions within these four domains remain unsettled or have attracted little scholarly effort. There is thus considerable scope for further research, along three lines in particular: (a) developing a conceptual common ground; (b) theorizing the effects that different forms and degrees of de/centralization have on important economic and political outcomes; and (c) refining how de/centralization is measured. As scholars take forward the study of de/centralization in federations, the chapter calls on them to integrate their research agendas as fully as possible with the wider research agendas in political science so as to benefit from cross-fertilization between sub-fields.

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