IntroductionThis week we have have two large subjects, which can be addressed equally in a cursory manner, or we can focus more on one or the other.
The comparative functions of government (executive, legislative, administrative, and judicial) are a subject for an entire field of study. A cursory treatment would provide a model for comparing the operation of these functions in context, including political parties, civil society, public space within which political communication occurs, and infrastructure permitting political communication. A comparative exercise would then examine several cases using the common model previously presented (Topic 1)
Comparative federalism could also be treated in a cursory way by describing degrees of centralization and decentralization in federal systems, residual powers, and separation of key powers. The Canadian case is illustrated here. How did Jackson and Jackson deduce the swings? What would a similar chart look like for other federal states? Are the examples of unitary states moving towards federalism or confederations consolidating? What political processes are involved those movements?
We might also focus on specific functions of government: legislative, executive, administrative, or judicial. One common theme in modern democracies seems to be the concentration of power in the executive.
recognize the universal functions of government and variety in their manifestations
To be confirmed by instructor after consultation with class coordinators
Consider the following questions for discussion
Coordinator-led activities may include the following:
Caramani, Ch. 7 (Moodle)
Caramani, Ch. 8 (Moodle)
Caramani, Ch. 9 (Moodle)
Caramani, Ch. 11 (Moodle)
Boix and Stokes, Ch. 31 Federalism
Dickovick and Eastwood, Ch. 9 Federalism
Hueglin and Fenna (2015) Comparative Federalism, Ch.2 Federal principles and federal organization (Moodle)
Political Database of the Americas: constitutions, parties, government, electoral systems
Queen’s University, Forum of Federations
Rodden, J. (2004) Comparative Federalism and Decentralization. Comparative Politics.