Gulyakov Alexander Dmitrievich, Candidate of juridical sciences, associate professor, Rector of Penza State University (40 Krasnaya street, Penza, Russia), email@example.com
Background. The traditional theory of federalism originated in 17–18th centuries, but it has become more sophisticated after being put into practice. Alexis de Tockqueville was the first to demonstrate peculiarities and advantages of federalism for Europeans with USA being an example. German authors, worried with unification of their country, concentrated on the problem of state sovereignty and the possibility of its division between the center and subnational units. Foreign researchers after the Second World War delved into more complex schemes explaning federalism from different angles. But too broad definitions (for example by D. Elazar) linking this phenomena with not less than human relations are idealistic.
Matherials and methods. As federalist studies has demonstrated, the formal constitutional method is too static to be in full accordance with real life. State studying, which traces historical roots and evolution of federalism, seems to be more fruitful. It’s necessary to perceive that only modernization has opened the road to federalist practice. By comparing different historical and regional types of federalism we may understand the logic of its evolution.
Results. Weak attempts of intra-state cooperation could be seen in the Ancient and Medieval Worlds. The most famous were the Holy German Empire and the United Provinces of Netherlands. The pioneering countries with English-speaking settlers in the New World occurred to be more prepared for creation of federative states. Switzerland in the heart of Europe surrounded by high mountains has shown long and careful evolution to the federative entity.
Conclusions. Deep comparative studies are necessary for the research progress. There should be a balance in comparison of similarities and differences. It’s natural to compare the Russian state experience, with the German and the Austrian ones, because all these federative states have been formed from the 'top'. But we should consider more polar differences between Russia and the pioneering countries such as USA, Canada. And the comparison of our country with local, community federalism in Switzerland and post-colonial, super-centralized federalism in India is also useful.
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