Federalism in multinational societies, Switzerland, Canada, and India in comparative perspective
Abstract (Summary)The purpose of this dissertation is to examine the politics of separatism in multinational federations. Switzerland, Canada, and M a are investigated in detail. Switzerland is a multinational federation that has not experienced a separatist movement for more than one hundred and fïfty years. In Canada, there is a significant separatist movement in the province of Québec. M a has experienced a nurnber of violent secessionist crises in a number of states over the past two decades. The cases thus exhibit a range in the dependent variable (presence or absence of secessionist movements). This study adopts a legal-institutional approach to the problem of secession in multinational federations. This approach marries the classical understanding of federalism as a system of goverrunent with divided sovereignty to the more recent state-society and new instiMiona1 approaches in political science. Federalism is operationalized around three core institutions: constitutions, intergovernmental fiscal relations, and party systerns. These three institutions are situated as the independent variables in the study. The dissertation argues that the institutional structure of federalism is a critical detexminant of stability or uistability (the presence or absence of secessionism) in multinational federations.
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication:01/01/1999