A frequent topic of debate, for many people federalism is just a flag to be waved menacingly in order to obtain other advantages, whereas for others it represents an authentic constitutional reform. But what is federalism, really? Which currents of thought inspire it? Which are the most important federal states, and how are they organised? This volume is a compass that allows the reader to find his way among the many concepts that revolve around federalism: federation, confederation, devolution, tax federalism, regional state It also offers a practical description of selected countries - from the United States, the prototypical federal government, to the more recent experiences of Belgium and Spain, which are transforming their unitary states into federal ones; from Italy, where federal reforms are being debated, to the European Union, a novel experience that simply doesnt fit into traditional classifications.
Sofia Ventura teaches Political Science in the Faculty of Political Science at the Forl campus of the University of Bologna.