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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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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 13 May 2021

Democratic Federalism

Democratic Federalism

The Safeguards

Chapter:
(p.139) 5 Democratic Federalism
Source:
Democratic Federalism
Author(s):

Robert P. Inman

Daniel L. Rubinfeld

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691202129.003.0005

This chapter addresses the two weaknesses of Democratic Federalism. First, how can we guarantee all minorities are represented in the legislature? Second, how can we control the national legislature's inclination to usurp all important dimensions of public policy? The chapter evaluates the contributions of three new national institutions: first, an upper chamber called the Senate, elected not from local districts but from geographically larger provinces or states; second, a nationally elected president with agenda and veto powers over legislative decisions; and third, an independent national court to interpret the ground rules for federal governance and, in particular, what constitutes meaningful local assignment and full representation of all citizens. In addition to these three constitutionally created institutions, it also considers the ability of national political parties, if they were to arise, to foster minority representation and to control an overreaching national legislature. Each of these four safeguards contributes positively to the performance of Democratic Federalism, but only if a majority of all citizens understands and support the ongoing contribution of these institutions to the goals of economic efficiency, democratic participation, and protection of rights.

Keywords:   Democratic Federalism, Senate, president, national court, national political parties, minority representation, national legislature, economic efficiency, democratic participation, protection of rights

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