The editors of the volume Defunct Federalisms: Critical Perspectives on Federal Failure announce a call for chapters on failed federal attempts (especially in the Asian, African, and Middle Eastern contexts) in the post-World War II period.
Although we welcome contributions discussing failed federal experiences in various geographical regions, we are particularly interested in contributions examining the following failed federalisms:
- The Federal Republic of Cameroon (1961-1972)
- The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (1953-1963)
- The Malayan Union (1946-1948) and the Federation of Malaya (1948-1963/1965)
- The United Arab Republic (1958-1961)
- The Federation of Arab Republics (1972-1977)
(once again, contributions addressing the experience of defunct federalisms in other areas are welcome and encouraged to contact the editors)
The projected volume makes a distinction between the political formation of federations and their ideational underpinning by a particular federalism. Thus, the notion of ‘federalism’ is regarded in this publication as conceptually distinct from ‘federation’. The reason is that while the latter refers to the actual historical arrangement of state institutions, the former constitutes a much more multifaceted understanding, which indicates different aspects (political, economic, cultural, etc.) of the endorsement of a federal system. As such, it defines federalism as a normative and not only a descriptive term that refers to the advocacy of multi-tiered government combining elements of shared-rule and regional safe rule. It is based on the presumed value and validity of combining unity and diversity and of accommodating, preserving and promoting distinct identities within a larger political union. Being part of the dynamics of state building, the failure of federalism to accommodate the tension between federal and national identities tends to jeopardize state making and the viability of federal arrangements. In other words, the study of defunct federalisms is parallel—if not coterminous—to the analysis of state failure. In this respect, the breakup of specific federations does not necessarily translate into a failure of federalism; nor is the opposite true as the continued existence of a federation does not always indicate a success for federalism. The notion of defunct federalism reflects the failure of federalism as a normative principle to perpetuate the accommodation of both unity and diversity that precondition its accommodation of diverse identities. In this respect the objective of this volume is to map and analyze the experience of diverse identity-constellations in specific cases of defunct federalisms, and, thus, link them to the moment of federal failure.
The contributions to this volume should try to answer the following questions:
1. How did the concept of federalism emerge in each individual case? How was it justified? In what way was it implemented?
2. How did each individual federalism treat the issue of different identities? In what way were they addressed and accommodated?
3. When and how tensions emerged and what was the federal response? How have situations of emotional confrontation developed? How have they been confronted?
4. What precipitated the end? Why did this particular federalism fail?
5. What critical perspectives, revisions and developments does the proposed framework of defunct federalism suggest in regard to the theories and policies it has been informed by?
Those interested in contributing to this volume are invited to contact the editors for further details. Submission of abstracts alongside a short bio note (150 words) are expected by July 31, 2007. The deadline for submitting the complete chapters is November 15, 2007.
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