Federalism: A Model for Europe
Winter Term 1995
Ferdinand Kinsky
Centre International de Formation Europeenne
for European Studies Department
Central European University

Course Outline

The course will attempt to highlight different experiences of federalism as a model for unity and diversity. In spite of important failures (Czechoslovakia, U.S.S.R., Yugoslavia) and divergences (the nation states v. supranational integration) the generally accepted principle of subsidiarity seems to advocate a minimum of transnational unity for Europe in order to secure a maximum of diversity. This course attempts to compare various positive and negative federalist experiences as well as the more relevant contemporary schools and theories of federalism. It will be taught on a forthnightly basis.

Week 1: Comparative Federalism
a) What is federalism?
b) The principles of federalism: autonomy, cooperation and contractualism, subsidiarity and participation, checks and balances
c) The American, German and Swiss experiences
d) The failures of Soviet, Yugoslav and Czechoslovak experiences with federalism

Week 2: Federalism as a Model of Transnational Integration and Regional Devolution
a) The EU's institutions and decision making procedures: between federalism and confederation
b) Federalism beyond the EU: a model for world unity
c) Devolution and regionalism in Western Europe - Belgium, Spain, Italy, France
d) The debate on regionalism in Central and Eastern Europe

Week 3: Federalism and Democracy
a) Ideological contradictions in the concept of liberal democracy (Rousseau, Locke, Burke, Dahl)
b) The crisis of political institutions
c) Democracy and scale - problems of too large and too small political systems
d) Federalism and ethnic minorities

Week 4: Different Schools of Federalism and the Relevance of the Federalist Model for the Future of Europe
a) The Hamiltonian approach
b) Proudhon and the Personalist School
c) The relevance for Central and Eastern Europe
d) A global concept for Europe

Reading List:

Week 1:
Laursen, F., Unity and Diversity: Federalists Essays (1972-1986), Institute for Global Policy Studies, Amsterdam, 1993
Katz, E., "The Development of American Federalism," The Federal Idea, edited by Andrea Bosco, Lothian Foundation Press, London-New York, 1991
Elazar, D., Girelman et al., Federal Systems of the World

Ostrom, V., The Political Theory of a Compound Republic, University of Meneska Press, Lincoln and London, 1987
Bird, R.M., "A Comparative Perspective on Federal Finance", in The Future of Fiscal Federation, Kingstone, 1994

Week 2:
Burgess, M., Federalism and European Union
Forsyth, M., Federalism and Nationalism
Pinder, J., "The Community after Maastricht: How Federal?" in New European 5:3, 1992
Guerra, L.L., "The Development of the Spanish State of Autonomies, 1978-1992"
Ciemniewski, J., "Between Unity and Separation", Both in Jutta Kramer (Hrsg.) Foderalismus zwischen Integration und Sezession, Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft, Baden-Baden, 1993
Noel, E., Institutions of the EC, Commission of the EC, Luxembourg 1993

Week 3:
Dahl, R.& E.R. Tufte, Size and Democracy, Stanford, 1973
Kinsky, F., "Information, Culture and Participation - What Democracy for Central and Eastern Europe?" in Perspectives, Winter 93/94 (will be distributed)
Rosenfeld, M., "The Failures of Federalism in the United States", in Jutta Kramer (Hrsg.) Foderalismus zwischen Integration und Sezession, Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft, Baden-Baden, 1993

Locke, J., An Essay Concerning the the True Original Extent and End of Civil Government (The second of Locke's "Two Treaties of Government")
Rousseau, J.J., The Social Contract

Week 4:
Levi, L., "The Federalist Papers and the Choices before the American People" and
Kinsky, F., "The Impact of Proudhon and the Personalist Movement on Federalism", both in The Federal Idea, Vol.1, Editor Andrea Bosco, Lothian Foundation Press, London-New York, 1993
Denis de Rougemont, Why Europe?, Chapter II "Cultural Unity," Geneva, 1958

Kinsky, F., "Personalism and Federalism", in Federalism as Grand Design - Political Philosophers and the Federal Principle, Edited by Daniel Elazar, Bosto, 1987

CRC-Curriculum Resource Center
CEU Budapest, Hungary
Modified: April, 1996


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