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Title: A comparative study of dynamics in federal political systems in times of crisis
Author: Bransden, Simon Mark
ISNI:       0000 0004 6425 5643
Awarding Body: Canterbury Christ Church University
Current Institution: Canterbury Christ Church University
Date of Award: 2017
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The thesis seeks to develop understandings of dynamics in federal political systems in crisis, the nature of the relationship between crisis and process, and the range of tools available for conflict reduction that extend beyond those available in the constitutional frameworks of each system. The dissertation explores these through a comparative study of a small n of cases that meet the criterion of a period of crisis as the independent variable: the Staten Island secession crisis in New York City, the existential crisis of Quebec's relationship with the rest of Canada, and the crisis of the UK and European integration at the time of Maastricht. The data collection process for each is framed on a temporal basis, within the duration of crisis as defined, and spatially, within the territorial extent of the system. The thesis uses data gathered from primary and secondary written sources based on the relevance to the research questions and conceptual framework. The analysis, located in the comparative section, identifies a number of important findings that contribute to theoretical understandings of federalism. The evidence gives support to, and extends the understanding of, federalism by demonstrating that the crisis potential in each case becomes evident because of challenges to some communities' values that arise from the process-based nature of federalism, through identifiable demands and counter-demands made by actors. Moreover, it highlights how the constraining nature of constitutional frameworks makes the use of extra-constitutional arrangements essential, in particular with the use of instrumentalities. The thesis also develops an understanding of how federal power sharing evolves post-crisis with flexible understandings of the division of competences, and the potential for a return to crisis in systems in the absence of a deeper understanding and application of federal principles by political elites.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: J Political Science ; JA Political science (General)