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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Comparative Constitutional Law [MPECCoL]

Political Philosophy of Federalism

Robert Schütze

From: Oxford Constitutions (http://oxcon.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved.date: 19 April 2021

Federal constitutions — Central government — Delegated powers — Federal judicial systems — Political philosophy of federalism

General Editors: Rainer Grote, Frauke Lachenmann, Rüdiger Wolfrum.
Managing Editor: Ana Harvey

1. The federal principle has made a long ‘journey through time in quest of meaning’ (Davis). Its etymological origins lie in ‘foedus’—a word that signified ‘contract’. Contractual bonds are variously made; and the federal principle was open to a variety of conceptual directions. Early on, the federal idea became associated with arrangements between political communities. Yet, there was hardly any political philosophy of federalism in antiquity; and in the medieval world, the federal principle found but little light to grow. Modern federalism emerges with the rise...
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