This book provides a distinctive new introduction to the study of comparative politics at undergraduate level. Rich in case study material and global in coverage, Comparative Politics sets out the basic theoretical and methodological foundations for studying different political systems as well as the key structures and actors of which they are comprised. 

The Territorial Dimension

The territorial dimension

Chapter Outline

This chapter will first define territorial state forms, then develop a classification of federal versus unitary systems that takes into account the distinction between form and function. We will then examine competing explanations from cultural, structural and rational choice institutionalists for the development of federal versus unitary systems, before comparing their performance across a range of political and governance issues.


Federalism and federal government are important areas of comparative politics and government for at least three reasons. First, it is the system of government for between one-third and one-half of the world's population, depending on which definition of federation is used, including the most populous democracy (India), the largest (Canada), the dominant states of South America (Brazil and Argentina), sub-Saharan ...

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