This chapter examines the viability of political unions. It argues that monetary unions bring a degree of economic centralization that may require, in certain circumstances, a high degree of political centralization. Whether such political centralization is acceptable depends on the costs and benefits implicit in the particular federal bargain under discussion. The chapter provides a conceptual framework with which to evaluate the viability of political unions in general and the European Union (EU) in particular. It also identifies links between economic and political centralization and its implications for the European case.
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