This edited volume examines the form and operation of intergovernmental relations in divided societies. Using eight country case studies, it explores the interplay between politicised ethno-cultural diversity and intergovernmental relations (IGR) in countries where the distinctive identity of at least one subnational unit is acknowledged in a form of territorial autonomy. The book examines whether and how the distinctive identity of particular subnational units and the attending competing constitutional visions shape the dynamics of IGR. The goal here is not simply to determine whether intergovernmental interactions in such societies are less cordial and more conflictual than in other societies. Such interaction in any society could be strained as a result of disagreement over specific policy objectives. The question is whether the distinctive identity of particular subnational units and the attending competing constitutional visions themselves have been a primary source of intergovernmental tension. The book also examines the impact of identity politics on institutions and instruments of IGR, determining whether the ethno-cultural divide and the tension it creates have the tendency to affect the type of institutions and instruments employed in IGR. It is also about the relevance and effectiveness of institutions and instruments of IGR in acknowledging and accommodating the distinctive identities and specific demands of subnational units, thereby contributing to the peaceful management of divided societies.
Yonatan T. Fessha is Professor of Law at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa.
Karl Kössler is Senior Researcher at the Institute for Comparative Federalism at Eurac Research Bolzano/Bozen, Italy.
Francesco Palermo is Professor of Comparative Constitutional Law at the University of Verona and Head of the Institute for Comparative Federalism at Eurac Research Bolzano/Bozen, Italy.
Chapter 1. The tragedy of the cantons: Intergovernmental relations and identity conflict in Switzerland. - Chapter 2. Bilingualism, Quebec's Distinctiveness, and Intergovernmental Relations in Canada. - Chapter 3. Intergovernmental relations in Belgium: obstacles for effective cooperation in dyadic federalism. - Chapter 4. Plurinatonalism, devolution and intergovernmental relations in the United Kingdom. - Chapter 5. Intergovernmental relations and ethnic federalism in Ethiopia. - Chapter 6. Redundancy of an Existence: Intergovernmental Relations in India. - Chapter 7. Intergovernmental relations and communal tensions in Spain. - Chapter 8. Intergovernmental relations and identity politics in Italy