Theories of Federalism: A Reader

Dimitrios Karmis and Wayne Norman (editors)

This reader brings together the most significant writings on federalism from the 17th century to the present. Federalist theories have received short shrift in most texts and university courses on the history of political thought. We tend to read this history, from Hobbes to Rawls, as if the greatest political thinkers were concerned exclusively with the unitary nation-state. Yet running parallel to this tradition is another concerned with the best ways for multiple political communities to share the same political space in federative arrangements. Many of the most famous political thinkers – including Rousseau, Kant, and J.S. Mill – have participated in both traditions, although until now their federalist writings have been less well-known and harder to find.