Special Section: Introduction

The special section of this issue of Federations magazine tackles
two classic themes of federal governance, diversity and intergovernmental
relations, and how they shape the internal
politics of several federal countries.
these eight articles address themes of central interest to
practitioners of federalism. They were chosen to also appeal to
the appetites of the less initiated.
the selection includes pieces on unity and diversity in
ethiopia, india, nigeria and Switzerland, four countries who
value their respective forms of diversity and have found unique
ways of promoting it in order to strengthen the unity of their
2007 Federations
The common thread is that laws have been adopted to protect
certain rights of minorities.
two of the four articles on intergovernmental relations
focus on how Spain and italy continue gradually shifting
power to their constituent units, demonstrating how a certain
level of conflict between the central authority and the constituent
units is inevitable and no doubt necessary.
The other two pieces examine politics in india through the
prism of india’s fascinating multi-party system and the realignment
of power sharing within the country.
these topics, diversity and intergovernmental relations
form two of the four core themes of the Fourth international
conference on Federalism in new delhi from nov. 5–7, the
other two being local governments and federal systems; and
fiscal federalism, the subject of a recent special section of
Federations magazine.
this is the year of india’s diamond Jubilee, 60 years of
independence. it is thus most fitting that the international
conference, whose theme unity in diversity: Learning from
each other, be held in a country whose enduring unity has
been maintained through its considerable diversity. There is
much to learn from the indian experience.
we trust these articles will inform and resonate both with
you our regular reader and you, the conference participant
who is reading us for the first time.