Contributor: George Anderson

Yemen’s Failed Constitutional Transition: 2011-15: Number 41

Yemen’s constitutional moment started with the exhilaration of the country’s Arab Spring and ended with the outbreak of civil war. In 2011 a popular uprising resulted in the resignation of the autocratic president, Ali Abdullah Saleh. Neighboring Arab countries quickly became engaged in steering the process, which included an election to legitimate the succession of the vice-president to the presidency, a government of national unity composed of old line parties, and, at the urging of the United Nations, a National Dialogue process on national goals and the design of a new constitution. The dialogue process was intended to be highly inclusive and non-partisan, but suffered from its inability to resolve tough questions, the absence of key political players, and the role of spoilers, including Saleh. It recommended a new federal regime, but its design was only partially developed and failed to resolve the critical issue of the number and boundaries of states. The president created a committee that endorsed his preferred scheme, which was deeply resented in the South, where there was strong mobilization around secession, and by the Houthis in the north. A Constitutional Drafting Committee was commissioned to prepare a draft. Throughout this process, the government was very dysfunctional, while the economy and security situations were deteriorating. By the summer of 2014, Houthi insurgents had progressed to the edges of the capital Sanaa, when a government decision to end fuel subsidies led to massive demonstrations and the entry of the Houthi into Sanaa, causing a crisis for the government. The Constitutional Drafting Committee finally delivered its document to the president in January 2015 and this became the trigger for civil war. The country has become even more fractured with the humanitarian disaster of the conflict and there is little sign of consensus on its constitutional future.

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Fiscal Federalism: A Comparative Introduction

This concise introduction to the ways in which the world’s federations manage their finances. Topics covered include the distribution of taxation powers among different levels of government; regional equalization schemes; authority over natural resource revenues; and the impact of federal systems of government on pension, welfare, and income assistance programs. The book targets second-, third-, and fourth-year courses in Federalism and Comparative Politics at the university level, and will also be useful for practitioners and civil servants. By George Anderson.

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A primer on federalism

Forty per cent of the world’s people live in federal countries. The 28 countries with federal systems of government are amazingly diverse: they include not only the world’s wealthiest nation – the United States of America – but also tiny island-states like Micronesia and St. Kitts and Nevis. This admirably concise book, written by George Anderson, a leading expert on federalism and head of the Forum of Federations, provides a straightforward, jargon-free introduction to the topic. It is essential reading not only for students and those in government, but for ordinary citizens of the world’s federations. By George Anderson. Sample chapters available online.

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Internal Markets and Multi-level Governance

This book breaks new ground in providing just such a study. George Anderson, president emeritus of the Forum of Federations, has assembled a team of leading experts on the politics and economics of federal systems and set them the task of analyzing the management of internal markets in the United States, Australia, Canada, and Switzerland, as well as the European Union. Though similar economic and political factors often play a role in driving the development of internal markets, outcomes and experiences vary widely depending on individual political and economic circumstances. In the concluding chapter, Anderson attempts to draw some comparative conclusions and highlight potential lessons for policymakers.

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Oil and Gas in Federal Systems

The first book-length work of its kind, draws on the contributions of twenty-four respected scholars in the areas of petroleum policy and federal systems, examining in detail oil and gas management and revenue regimes in a dozen key federations: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, the United States, and Venezuela. The history and development of each country’s oil and gas industry is placed within the broader context of that nation’s overall economic and political development.

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