Contributor: Michael Burgess

SUB-NATIONAL CONSTITUTIONS IN FEDERAL SYSTEMS

The capacity to respond to change and the challenges associated with it are crucial to the success and survival of federal states. The constitutional arrangements within a federal system for dividing power, resolving disputes, safeguarding rights, and providing for reform and renewal are key in responding to these challenges. This article examines how the constitutional architecture of federal and quasi-federal systems has influenced their evolution and development, their success and survival. This article also looks at the constitutional architecture of these systems from “below”—from the point of view of sub-national constitutions and the regions that they govern.

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Constitutional Dynamics in Federal Systems: Sub-national Perspectives

This volume looks at the complex interplay between national constitutions and constitutional processes at the sub-national level in twelve countries drawn from Europe and North America. It is quite a unique publication, since it approaches the study of federal constitutions from the perspective of sub-national units, whereas other studies approach the topic with a top-down view of the problems of federalism and constitutions. The chapters systematically deal with issues such as what counts as a constitution at the sub-national level and with how such constitutions differ from federal constitutions and from each other; and they evaluate the extent to which sub-national entities have developed constitutions within the constitutional space allowed by national constitutions. The findings of this volume are very relevant in many post-conflict countries where there is a real demand for comparative knowledge not just on how to develop sub-national constitutions but also approaches to delineating and managing boundaries between national and sub-national constitutions.

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