The Principle of Federal Loyalty and Trust in the Estado De Las Autonomías

  • Sebastian D. Baglioni


Federalism is often presented as a workable solution for the accommodation of multinationality. Combining self-rule with shared rule, a federal polity opens up the space to recognise and accommodate the diverging demands coming from different actors and/or governments. The unity of a federal polity is guaranteed by the existence of a central government, whereas its diversity is guaranteed by the second level of political authorities who enjoy political autonomy and the proper constitutional protections. However, federalism is neither an automatic process nor a magical solution for political conflicts.

The present paper discusses the principle of federal loyalty and trust as important elements conducive to the legitimacy and efficacy of federal systems. This is especially relevant for the Spanish case for a number of reasons. First, the existence of national minorities demanding the political recognition of certain rights presents a significant challenge to the system. Second, Spain has adopted a ‘federalising’ direction whereby institutions and practices display the classic characteristics of federal systems with varying degrees of success. Third, taking together the last two points, the Estado de las Autonomías displays interesting characteristics to analyse the ways in which federalism is a proper normative and institutional option for the accommodation of multinational demands and to assess the conditions under which a federal system gains legitimacy and realises the principles of democratic rule and political inclusion.


Basque Country Political Authority Federal System National Minority Spanish Government 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of TorontoTorontoCanada

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