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"Federal Dynamics in Canada, Switzerland and the US – How Sub-States’ Internal Organization Affects Intergovernmental Cooperation"

Bolleyer, Nicole. (2005) "Federal Dynamics in Canada, Switzerland and the US – How Sub-States’ Internal Organization Affects Intergovernmental Cooperation". In: UNSPECIFIED, Austin, Texas. (Unpublished)

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    The paper argues that internal sub-state dynamics can systematically account for the variety of forms in which politicians organize cross-jurisdictional interaction in dual federal systems. Most generally, majoritarian executive-legislative relations tend to weaken the institutionalization of intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), while power-sharing executive-legislative relations tend to facilitate it. Moreover, depending on the type of power-sharing mechanisms in the single arenas - non-compulsory or compulsory- the mutual integration of IGOs is rendered more or less difficult. The institutionalization of IGOs is affected by the following mechanisms: Firstly, given one-party majority cabinets, complete government alternations (which are much less likely given coalition or oversized governments) strongly alter actors’ interest constellations over time, thereby increasing the costs of maintaining stable cross-boundary intergovernmental relations. Secondly, the heavy impact of a potential electoral loss induces politicians to shift the blame to the other governments in the system, thereby undermining the potential for cross-boundary cooperation. Thirdly, one-party governments (in contrast to coalitions) decrease the value of IGOs as instruments to save transaction costs because the number of involved actors is lower. Finally, autonomy losses caused by intergovernmental cooperation are higher for parties which govern alone. Integration also suffers from these dynamic because strong IGOs often facilitate system integration. More importantly, however, it is weakened by compulsory power-sharing structures unbridged by party ties inside the sub-states because these internal divides considerably complicate coordination within the horizontal level. To examine these theoretically derived hypotheses, Canada, the U.S. and Switzerland are selected as ‘most different cases’. As a major result, in Switzerland internal dynamics support that IGOs are strongly institutionalized and intra-organizational linkages formally specified. In Canada internal dynamics are much less favorable: the organizational structure of the respective bodies and their mutual integration is much weaker. The U.S. takes a middle position. While intergovernmental arrangements are considerably institutionalized, the compulsory power-sharing structures within the states undermine mutual integration.

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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Additional Information: This paper does not discuss the EU, but it is included here because it was presented at a European Union Studies Association conference.
    Uncontrolled Keywords: Canada; United States; international government organizations (IGOs).
    Subjects for non-EU documents: Countries > Switzerland
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > political affairs > governance: EU & national level > subnational/regional/territorial
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Conference: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 2005 (9th), March 31-April 2, 2005
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2005
    Page Range: p. 28
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:24

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