Diverse democracies and the practice of federalism

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter draws a distinction between the institutions of federation and the informal practices of federalism within the context of multinational democracies. Building on this distinction, the chapter argues that informal practices of federalism may be just as important, if not more important, than the formal institutions of federation in reconciling unity and diversity in multinational settings. The argument is developed through a comparison of the workings of four multinational democracies: interwar Czechoslovakia, post-Quiet Revolution Canada, post-Franco Spain and post-devolution United Kingdom. The chapter’s conclusion applies the argument to understanding the possible implications, in India, of the Modi government’s decision to impose direct rule on Jammu and Kashmir.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFederalism and National Diversity in the 21st Century
EditorsAlain-G. Gagnon, Arjun Tremblay
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9783030384197
ISBN (Print)9783030384180
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020

Publication series

NameFederalism and Internal Conflicts
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan


  • informal practices of federalism
  • formal institutions of federation
  • multinational democracies
  • Czechoslovakia
  • Québec, Canada
  • Catalonia, Spain
  • Scotland, United Kingdom
  • Jammu and Kashmir, India


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