The Principle of Equality in Diverse States

Reconciling Autonomy with Equal Rights and Opportunities


This book examines different approaches by which states characterised by federal or decentralized arrangements reconcile equality and autonomy. In case studies from four continents, leading experts analyse the challenges of ensuring institutional, social and economic equality whilst respecting the competences of regions and the rights of groups.
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Eva Maria Belser holds a Chair for Constitutional and Administrative Law at the University of Fribourg and a UNESCO Chair in Human Rights and Democracy. She is Co-Director of the Institute of Federalism and a Board Member of the Swiss Centre of Expertise in Human Rights. She teaches and publishes in the field of Swiss and comparative constitutional law, federalism, decentralisation and globalisation, human and minority rights and democracy as well as constitution making and conflict resolution. She regularly accepts mandates to serve as a Swiss expert in international consultancy projects. Her recent consultancy activities were related to Iraq, the Maldives, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Syria. She was awarded the Swiss federalism prize in 2019.
Thea Bächler is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Federalism of the University of Fribourg. In her research, she focuses on constitutional social rights and social welfare systems in federal contexts.
Sandra Egli works for the Chair for Constitutional and Administrative Law at the University of Fribourg. Her research interests are fundamental rights and interdisciplinary questions in law. She holds a Master in Law from the University of Bern and a Master in Political Science from the University of Zurich.
Lawrence Zünd holds a Master of Arts in Political Science from the University of Lausanne. He has studied in China and Lebanon, where he developed a deep understanding of local and regional issues. Proponent of interdisciplinarity, he focuses on the role of perceptions and emotions in socio-political turning points.
List of Figures, Tables, and Graphs
List of Abbreviations

  Eva Maria Belser and Lawrence Zünd

Conceptual Determination

1 Suum Cuique Tribuere – A Common Narrative of Federalism and Equality?
  Anna Gamper

2 Constitutional Asymmetry and Equality in Multinational Systems with Federal Arrangements
  Maja Sahadžić

3 Why the Affection of Federalism for Human Rights Is Unrequited and How the Relationship Could Be Improved
  Eva Maria Belser

Case Studies on Institutional Equality

4 Italy: The Principle of Solidarity as a Principle of Equality
  Erika Arban

5 Does Regional Autonomy Improve Local Public Services in More Diverse Regions?
  Andrea Filippetti

6 Assuring Equality, Autonomy and Territorial Integrity in Sri Lanka
  Jayampathy Wickramaratne

Case Studies on Economic Equality

7 Equality and Advantage in Emerging Federations and the Dilemma of Non-Renewable Natural Resources
The Cases of the Solomon Islands and Trinidad and Tobago
  Nico Steytler

8 Equality, Development Equivalence and Federal Finance in Argentina
  Miguel Angel Asensio

9 The Swiss Tax System – Between Equality and Diversity
  Peter Hänni

10 Principle of Equality and Social Care Policies in the Italian Regional System between Autonomy and Centralisation
  Giulia Maria Napolitano and Gabriella Saputelli

Case Studies on Political Equality

11 Federal States and Equality in Political Representation
Federalism Superseding Democracy?
  Sérgio Ferrari

12 Equality and Inequality in Bosnia and Herzegovina
  Soeren Keil

13 Federal Equality in Multinational Bosnia and Herzegovina
  Dejan Vanjek

14 In the Name of Diversity
The Disenfranchisement of Citizens in an African Federation
  Yonatan Tesfaye Fessha

 Concluding Remarks
  Eva Maria Belser


All those interested in federalism, decentralisation and other forms of diverse states and their practical and theoretical implications.
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