The Federal Vision, Levels of Governance, and Legitimacy
Describes the aim of the book as a contribution towards articulating a federal vision of governance in the USA and in the European Union, and addressing the complex and changing relationship between levels of governance within both polities at a time when they are revisiting the meaning of divided sovereignty. The origin of the book was a desire on the part of scholars from both sides of the Atlantic to compare notes about the issues of multi‐level governance in their respective polities that are the focus of their scholarship, and the starting point was to juxtapose and contrast what may broadly be referred to as the ‘devolution debates’ in the USA and the ‘subsidiarity debates’ in the EU. The book as a whole is a collective and multi‐disciplinary attempt at analysing the ramifications of the legitimacy crisis in these multi‐layered democracies, and seeks not only to bridge the transatlantic divide on the study of federalism and European integration, but also, and perhaps more importantly, the traditional academic divide between technical, legal, or regulatory discussions of federal governance and philosophical debates over questions of belonging, citizenship, and multiple identities. The four sections of the introduction discuss the challenge of legitimacy and ‘thinking together’, present a caveat on European ‘federalism’, and provide a ‘roadmap’ to the volume.
Keywords: belonging, citizenship, devolution, European integration, European Union, federal governance, federalism, governance, legitimacy, multi‐layered democracies, multiple identities, subsidiarity, USA
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