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Federalism in multinational societies, Switzerland, Canada, and India in comparative perspective

by Telford, Hamish

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.
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Source Type:Master's Thesis

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Date of Publication:01/01/1999

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