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Democratic FederalismThe Economics, Politics, and Law of Federal Governance$
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Robert Inman and Daniel L. Rubinfeld

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691202129

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691202129.001.0001

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Cooperative Federalism

Cooperative Federalism

(p.75) 3 Cooperative Federalism
Democratic Federalism

Robert P. Inman

Daniel L. Rubinfeld

Princeton University Press

This chapter describes Cooperative Federalism, which replaces Economic Federalism's nationally elected president with a “council” of locally elected representatives. Again there are multiple provincial and local governments with important, possibly concurrent, policy responsibilities and revenues, but now national goods, services, and regulations are the responsibility of a locally elected national council. To ensure that each city's, state's, or nation's preferences are accommodated, Cooperative Federalism imposes a supermajority, often unanimity, voting rule. The resulting governments are known as confederal when representation is by geography, or consociational when representation is allowed more generally—say, from ethnic, religious, or economic groups. The primary virtue of Cooperative Federalism is its potential to protect the interests of minorities from Economic Federalism's tyranny of a majority under presidential governance. Since the stakes for minority citizens are potentially so high and the influence of each elected representative to the national council so decisive, democratic participation may be encouraged. It is on the dimension of economic efficiency in the provision of national goods and regulations that Cooperative Federalism is likely to fall short.

Keywords:   Cooperative Federalism, representatives, national council, supermajority voting rule, confederal government, consociational government, minorities, minority citizens, democratic participation, economic efficiency

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