Constitutional dynamics and partisan conflict: A comparative assessment of multi-level systems in Europe

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Abstract

The case studies revealed that the constitutional nature of a multi-level system indeed shapes its modes of day-to-day intergovernmental coordination and, with it, the way competences are (re)allocated in the longer term. Both in federal arrangements and in confederations, the ‘subunits’ – whose status is constitutionally protected – could more easily defend their decision-making capacity within their areas of jurisdiction because they can veto changes in the allocation of competences, an advantage lower-level governments in regionalized systems do not enjoy. Similarly, in federal and confederal systems day-to-day interaction in Inter Governmental Relations (IGR) predominantly took place in multilateral structures, while in regionalized systems bilateralism was more pronounced. The relative influence of party-political (in)congruence on IGR, in contrast, was more varied than theoretically expected.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)531-555
Number of pages25
JournalComparative European Politics
Volume12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2014

Keywords

  • Multi-level systems
  • comparative federalism
  • constitutionalism
  • party-political conflict
  • intergovernmental relations

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