Article: article from journal or magazin.
How do fiscally decentralized federations fare in times of crisis ? : Insights from Switzerland
Regional and Federal Studies
This article examines federal dynamics during times of crisis in fiscally decentralized federations using Switzerland as an example. Based on qualitative research, we analyse how the relationship between the federal government and the cantons evolved during the recent 'Great Recession' and ensuing financial crisis. We contend that fiscally decentralized structures, as well as the consensus-oriented institutions of the political system, protect the federal balance of power. Our results show that Switzerland indeed adapted well to the crisis of the 2009 economic recession. However, the deficit crisis has revealed challenging coordination problems, notably in the areas of fiscal equalization and corporate taxation, which have the potential to put federal stability under stress. So far, the system has adapted well and safeguarded the federal order. Due to its combination of fiscally decentralized institutions and a strong consensus culture, Switzerland has proven to be a particularly robust federation.
economic and financial crisis, debt crisis, federal dynamics, Switzerland
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