Recent News & Articles

New journal article: Boundary control and education policy in federal systems: explaining sub-federal resilience in Canada and Germany, Comparative Education

August 9, 2021

Abstract: State-building and the development of the modern nation-state was an inherently centralizing process. Education policy and institutionalization of mass public schooling played a key role in this process, facilitating industrialization and the generation of mass loyalty toward the state through national symbols, myths or a standardized language.

New journal article: "The Federalization of Trade Politics in Switzerland, Germany, and Austria“ In: Regional and Federal Studies, in: Regional and Federal Studies (online first)

June 2, 2021

Abstract: Since the 1990s, sub-federal units have become increasingly active in trade politics, a domain that is usually an exclusive jurisdiction of the federal level. Conceptualizing this process of institutional change as federalization, this paper adopts a most similar case design to examine how four factors interact to generate different patterns of trade policy engagement in Switzerland, Austria and Germany.

New journal article: “Transformative Energy Policy in Federal Systems: Canada and Germany Compared“ In: Canadian Journal of European and Russian Studies 14 (2):56-78 (with Arthur Benz)

April 19, 2021

Abstract: Transforming the energy system towards an increasing share of renewables requires a significant change of a policy to redirect the path-dependent evolution of a highly complex technical system.

New book chapter: „Between Co-evolution and Intercurrence: How Democracy has shaped Federalism in Canada”. In Benz, Arthur and Jared Sonnicksen (eds.): Federal Democracies at Work: Varieties of Complex Government. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 142-163.

April 15, 2021

This chapter uses the example of Canada to examine the problems and dynamics resulting from a specific combination of democracy and federalism, a combination based on loose coupling.

New op-ed in National Newswatch: How the pandemic has exposed a leadership problem in Canadian federalism

April 5, 2021

In this op-ed, I argue that Canadian federalism provides a flexible institutional foundation for effectively responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. But a leadership problem outside the Atlantic provinces has prevented this from happening.

Op-ed in Policy Options: How the Trudeau government can get control of the pandemic

January 22, 2021

In this op-ed, I argue that Ottawa can foster a more pan-Canadian approach to respond to the pandemic by encouraging accountability, conditionality + deeper intergovernmental cooperation.

New Essay for IRPP's Centre of Excellence on the Canadian Federation: Resilient Federalism and Transformative Policy Change: Prospects for a New ‘National Policy’ in Canada

October 7, 2020

This essay was published as part of the inaugural essay series for the Centre of Excellence on the Canadian Federation. It argues that historically, three conditions have facilitated transformative change in Canada: reconstructive leadership, collaborative federalism and a commission of inquiry.

New book chapter: „Self-rule vs. Shared Rule: Canada as a Case of Comparative Federalism”. In Herman Bakvis and Grace Skogstad (eds.): Canadian Federalism: Performance, Effectiveness and Legitimacy. Fourth Edition. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 31-58.

August 5, 2020

This is a new chapter prepared for the fourth edition of Canadian Federalism, edited by Herman Bakvis and Grace Skogstad. More information at:

New Edited Volume: The Multilevel Politics of Trade, edited by Jörg Broschek and Patricia Goff. Toronto: University of Toronto Press 2020.

January 20, 2020

The Multilevel Politics of Trade presents a timely comparative analysis of eight federations (plus the European Union) to explore why some sub-federal actors have become more active in trade politics in recent years.