University of Michigan Gateway Ford School

Institutional Explanations for the Robustness of Federations

Jenna Bednar, Department of Political Science, University of Michigan

Professor Bednar received funding from CLOSUP's Small Grants Program (FY 2004) for this research project on institutional explanations for the robustness of federations.

Abstract:
A successful federal union maintains the delicate balance between state sovereignty and federal unity. It protects the states from federal encroachment, while preventing the states from shirking on their responsibilities - for example, by failing to implement federal policy - as well as protecting the states from harmful acts of by other state governments, such as erecting barriers to trade or discriminating against residents of other states. The purpose of this project is to understand the institutional factors that contribute to a sustainable federal union. The project is particularly interested in how institutions interact, how they complement one another, to sustain the federation and make the relationship profitable for the states involved.

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