Contradiction and Crisis in the Federal Idea
The methodological use of contradiction may be extrapolated and applied to the study of a large number of phenomena, institutions, and even concepts, particularly those that follow a historical line. In principle, therefore, there is nothing particularly unusual about employing this method with federalism. However, what is specific to this case is that the various aspects of the historical study and development of federalism herein dealt with—the theoretical/political, constitutional, and socio-economic or territorial perspective—occur contradictorily and also with an added peculiarity: the elements of the contradiction that occur in the different areas addressed end up proving consistent and uncontradictory, ultimately offering a plausible explanation for what appears to be a sustained crisis of federalism. Thus, the contradiction disappears even though contradiction has contributed to explaining its content.