Why Centralization and Decentralization in Federations? A Comparative Analysis

The University of Kent at Canterbury and the University of Ottawa, with the collaboration of the Forum of Federations, are organizing a workshop entitled “Why Centralization and Decentralization in Federations? A Comparative Analysis. This workshop takes place within the program, supported by the Leverhulme Trust, that investigates and maps the state of decentralisation within each federation covered in the study sample, assessing the successes and challenges faced by federal governments in the implementation of devolution in various policy sectors and across jurisdictions. The project examine issues such as the distribution of power between the general and the constituent orders of government of a federation at any given point in time, where power is understood as the ability of a constituent unit to take binding decisions on public policy unconstrained by the general government or other constituent units. The federations covered in this project are Australia, Canada, Germany, India, Switzerland, and the United States. The outcome of this project will be a comprehensive piece that maps those competing forces of Centralization and Decentralization and discusses how to operationalize the framework for decentralisation particular to each federation. The workshop in Ottawa will analyse the cases of Canada and the United States.

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