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Capital cities of federations. On the way to analysing the normative base of their asymmetrical status
Nagel, Klaus-Jürgen
Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Departament de Ciències Polítiques i Socials; Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Grup de Recerca en Teoria Política
Federal Capitals often have special statutes. Compared with member states, they often enjoy a lower degree of self-government and a lesser share in the governing of the federation. Why do actors choose such devices, and how can they be justified in a liberal democracy? Surprisingly, the burgeoning literature on asymmetric federalism (to which our research group has contributed significantly) has overlooked this important feature of a de iure asymmetry, perhaps because political theory up to now has concentrated on cases of multicultural and plurinational federations. However, comparative literature is also rare. This paper is the first step to filling in this gap by comparing some federal capitals. The Federal District model (Washington) is compared to capitals organized as member-states (Berlin and Brussels), and capitals that are cities belonging to a single member state (Ottawa in Ontario). The different features of de iure asymmetry will thereby be highlighted. Some light will be shed on the possible motives, reasons and justifications for the choice of each respective status. The paper opens the door to further research on such status questions by analysing public and parliamentary debates, for example. It paves the way for more thorough research. Sicne the author has been awarded a grant by the Institut d’Estudis Autonòmics, this research will be carried out soon.
Capitals (Ciutats) -- Aspectes polítics
3 - Ciències socials

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