Federalism and the old and new liberalisms

Social Philosophy and Policy 24 (1):306-326 (2007)
  Copy   BIBTEX


The transition from a relatively federal to a relatively centralized constitutional structure in the United States has often been identified with the shift from classical to welfare liberalism as a matter of public philosophy. This article argues against that distinction. The liberal argument for federalism is a contingent one, built on approximations, counterbalancing, and political power. A more federalist constitution is not automatically a freer one on classical liberal understandings of freedom. Neither is a more centralized constitution automatically a better match with the ideals of welfare liberalism. The article sketches a constitutional history of federalism from the founding, through an era in which centralization was aligned with skepticism about liberal constitutionalism (for both meanings of liberal), to an era in which centralization was aligned with increases in liberal freedom (for both meanings of liberal).



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,139

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles


Added to PP

66 (#235,601)

6 months
15 (#140,820)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

Federalism.Andreas Føllesdal - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Federalism and Individual Liberty.C. Mantzavinos - 2010 - Constitutional Political Economy 21:101-118.
The idea of rights in the imperial crisis.Craig Yirush - 2012 - Social Philosophy and Policy 29 (2):82-103.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references