Sep 20, 2016
The most recent edition of the peer-reviewed journal Nationalism and Ethnic Politics features an article entitled "Concepts of “Decentralization” and “Federalization” in Ukraine: Political Signifiers or Distinct Constitutionalist Approaches for Devolutionary Federalism?" by McMaster Political Science PhD candidate Marguerite Marlin. As part of the article's focus on devolutionary federalism in Ukraine, Marlin's article analyzes political, cultural, and constitutional discourses around concepts of "decentralization" and "federalization" that played a significant part in the Minsk II ceasefire agreement negotiations. In particular, while the implementation of decentralization in Ukraine holds promise for improving the weak state of consociationalism there, the framing of the issue along regionally distinct lines persists. After a discussion of how preferences for “decentralization” over “federalization” have been inspired in Ukraine, the article evaluates the significance of these terms beyond sociopolitical stratification, that is, their relevance for constitutional reform of unitary states. Belgium and Spain, two countries that transitioned from unitary states to federal and decentralized systems (respectively) are viewed as instructive cases here. Overall, it is found that either approach abets successful devolutionary federalism if accompanied by ongoing, underlying measures to improve consociationalism.
Nationalism and Ethnic Politics is a Taylor and Francis journal based in the United Kingdom.
Marguerite's dissertation work at McMaster University focuses on the policy impact of legislative committees in parliamentary, presidential and semi-presidential systems. For her article in Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, she drew heavily from her expertise on post-Soviet politics and legislative regimes. She previously received a MA in European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies and a BA in History from Carleton University.