The Dynamic Stability of Federal Systems

  • Johanna SchnabelEmail author
Part of the Comparative Territorial Politics book series (COMPTPOL)


By introducing the concept of disruptive unilateralism, this chapter explains why the mutual dependence of the governments of a federation in public policy-making may undermine federal stability. It distinguishes three different ways in which unilateral policy making by one government restricts the autonomy of the other governments of a federation, which leads to federal instability: individual policy-making, federal imposition, and non-compliance. The extent to which governments solve policy problems unilaterally or jointly when policy problems cut across jurisdictions indicates intergovernmental councils’ (in)effectiveness as federal safeguards.


Federal dynamics Unilateralism Intergovernmental relations Public policy 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Politics and International RelationsUniversity of KentCanterburyUK

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