Policy-Making as a Source of Change in Federalism: A Dynamic Approach

  • Dietmar BraunEmail author
  • Johanna Schnabel
Part of the Comparative Territorial Politics book series (COMPTPOL)


Policy problems are an important source of change in federal systems. This chapter argues that federations’ performance depends on how federal actors find solutions to specific policy problems. Because the search for policy solutions may touch upon the basic interests of governments of a federation, robust performance can only be achieved if they find appropriate policy solutions and avoid federal conflicts at once. Drawing on their research on fiscal consolidation and the harmonisation of education policy, Braun and Schnabel develop an analytical model to evaluate federations’ performance in individual policy areas that stresses federalism’s dynamic character. In distinguishing four ways of governance in which federations tackle policy problems on their agenda (self-rule, arguing, bargaining, hierarchy), they explain why some federations seem to struggle more than others in achieving robustness even though all four governance modes have the potential to effectively solve policy problems as well as minimise federal conflicts.


Arguing Bargaining Federalism Policy-making Self-rule 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Political, Historical and International StudiesUniversité de LausanneLausanneSwitzerland
  2. 2.School of Politics and International RelationsUniversity of KentCanterburyUK

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