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Imperial Villages

Cultures of Political Freedom in the German Lands c. 1300-1800

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Beat Kümin

Hundreds of rural communities tasted political freedom in the Holy Roman Empire. For shorter or longer periods, villagers managed local affairs without subjection to territorial overlords. In this first book-length study, Beat Kümin focuses on the five case studies of Gochsheim and Sennfeld (in present-day Bavaria), Sulzbach and Soden (Hesse) and Gersau (Switzerland). Adopting a comparative perspective across the late medieval and early modern periods, the analysis of multiple sources reveals distinct extents of rural self-government, the forging of communalized confessions and an enduring attachment to the empire. Negotiating inner tensions as well as mounting centralization pressures, Reichsdörfer provide privileged insights into rural micro-political cultures while their stories resonate with resurgent desires for greater local autonomy in Europe today.

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Edited by Alice Valdesalici and Francesco Palermo

Comparing Fiscal Federalism investigates intergovernmental financial relations and the current de jure and de facto allocation of financial and fiscal powers in compound states from a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective. The volume combines theoretical approaches with case studies and involves scholars from various disciplines, in order to provide a comprehensive analysis of different approaches, developments and trends. This includes outlining fiscal federalism’s basic principles and overall frameworks, investigating current constitutional/legislative settings and how financial systems function, as well as zooming in on a selection of emerging issues in financial and fiscal relations. The single chapters are based on comparative investigations under the umbrella of a broad definition of fiscal federalism that includes all varieties of federal systems.

Concurrent Powers in Federal Systems

Meaning, Making, Managing

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Edited by Nico Steytler

Concurrency of powers – the exercise of jurisdiction by federal governments and constituent units in the same policy areas – is a key, if not the central, mode of governance in most federal systems today. Moreover, the experience has been that federal governments dominate the concurrent space giving rise to contestation. This volume, Concurrent Powers in Federal Systems: Meaning, Making and Managing, edited by Professor Nico Steytler, is the first to examine from a comparative perspective this crucial issue confronting both established and emerging federations. Case studies of 16 countries on five continents dissect the various manifestations of concurrency, analyse what drives this modern governance mode, and review management strategies that seek to guard against central dominance of concurrent areas.

Access to Information in Africa

Law, Culture and Practice

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Edited by Fatima Diallo and Richard Calland

For a long time, Africa has 'lagged' behind global advances in transparency, but there are now significant developments on the continent. In a ground-breaking book, Access to Information in Africa brings together for the first time a collection of African academics and practitioners to contribute to the fast-growing body of scholarship that is now accumulating internationally. This is therefore an African account of progress made and setbacks suffered, but also an account of challenges and obstacles that confront both policy-makers and practitioners. These challenges must be overcome if greater public access to information is to make a distinctive, positive contribution to the continent’s democratic and socio-economic future. This book offers a necessarily multi-dimensional perspective on the state of ATI in African jurisdictions and the emerging, new praxis - a praxis that will entail a genuine domestication of the right of access to information on the continent.

Russia and its Constitution

Promise and Political Reality

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Edited by Robert Sharlet and Gordon Smith

The Constitution of the Russian Federation was ratified in 1993 amid great hopes and aspirations following the collapse of the USSR. The constitution proclaims the goal of establishing a “democratic, federal state” that functions according to rule of law and promises a broad array of social, political and economic rights to its citizens. But how well has the Russian government lived up to realizing these promises? Seven distinguished scholars on Russian politics and law examine the state of political accountability, federal power-sharing, judicial independence, press freedom, and criminal procedure in Russia today. The picture that emerges is decidedly mixed; they conclude that the Russian constitution remains a work in progress.

Series:

Saïd Amir Arjomand

The themes of nation-building, post-colonial modernization and constitution-making, post-communist return to the rule of law and constitutional reconstruction, the global expansion of judicial power and judicial activism by the constitutional courts are usually studied by different specialists with somewhat narrow foci. This book is a unique and ambitious interdisciplinary attempt at the integration of these related fields, and offers a timely theoretical synthesis of the most important global constitutional trends in the last half-century. These essays by prominent authorities on different subjects and geographical areas offer a comprehensive, comparative view of the most important constitutional developments of two eras, bringing together the transplantation of the constitutional pattern of the nation-state and the current wave of globalization of constitutionalism and the rule of law. Contributors are: S.A.Arjomand, Nathan J. Brown, Ruth Gavison, Julian Go, Keyvan Tabari, Heinz Klug, Jill Cottrell, Yash Ghai, László Sólyom, Jacek Kurczewski, Anders Fogelklou, Grażyna Skąpska, Dieter Grimm, Kim Lane Scheppele, Ruth Rubio Marín , and Dicle Kogacioğlu.