“Shared rule in federal political systems” – 7 March 2024


While studies of federalism and multilevel governance abound, the shared rule dimension is usually neglected at the expense of focusing on autonomy or self-rule. This talk provides an overview over Sean Mueller’s forthcoming book with Oxford University Press on the concept, theory, causes and consequences of shared rule. An expert survey among 38 federalism scholars in 11 countries is used to measure actual as opposed to merely potential regional government influence over national decisions. Drawing on a wide range of literature, the book then investigates the emergence and impact of shared rule thus understood. The evidence presented includes qualitative case studies on Belgium, Canada, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, and the US as well as quantitative, cross-sectional analyses at regional and national level. The book shows that shared rule has the potential to become the holy grail of territorial politics in that it satisfies both those wanting greater unity and uniformity of policy making as well as those desiring greater regional autonomy and recognition of diversity.

Sean Mueller is ‘Eccellenza’ Assistant Professor in political science at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation.