The MacKell Chair team is collecting sources on the intersection between federalism-writ-large and COVID-19.
We will seek to update every week. Weekly updates will be added to top of each section/country. Please email relevant articles, links, etc. at federalism-covid19.law [at] mcgill.ca.
Last update: 25 May 2020.
1. Blogs or websites (partly) dedicated to the pandemic and/or federalism
Blogues et sites (partiellement) consacrés à la pandémie et/ou au fédéralisme
- Canadian Journal of Political Science: The Journal regularly publishes accepted manuscripts and research notes on its website.
- Centre for Civil and Political Rights: The Centre created a compilation based on the data on measures taken by States in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic that may influence the state's ability to ensure the rights and obligations protected by the ICCPR.
- Institute for Government: The Institute’s website includes a page on UK Devolution and COVID-19.
- La Chaire de recherche en fiscalité et en finances publiques à l’Université de Sherbrooke: Ce site web fait un suivi des mesures économiques gouvernementales découlant de la crise de la COVID-19 au Québec, au Canada et ailleurs dans le monde.
- Hunton Andrews Kurth Complaint Tracker: The firm is offering a tracker that allows to see civil complaints in the US and its topic state by state.
- Daniel Turp: Sur son site web, le prof. Turp publie régulièrement un recueil des décrets et arrêtés [.doc, version: 10 mai 2020] visant à protéger la santé de la population du Québec dans la situation de pandémie de la COVID-19.
- Forum of Federations : two collections of articles on Pandemic responses in different federations: Federalism and COVID, and Devolution and COVID.
- Cambridge Core Blog: blog series by Health Economics, Policy and Law on country responses to COVID-19. Includes blog posts on many countries including federal systems, but also about several constituent units within federal/quasi-federal systems, i.e. British Columbia (Canada), Kerala (India), Bergamo (Italy), Minnesota, New Jersey, Wisconsin (US).
- Policy Options / Options politiques: publishes articles on COVID-19 crisis regularly.
- La COVID dans les Amériques : Série de billets dirigée par l’Institut des Amériques et « Interdisciplinary Global Environmental Studies » sur la COVID-19 aux Amériques.
- Verfassungsblog: A special debate section dedicated to blog posts regarding the states of emergency and democracy around the world with some discussions of federalism.
- Covid-Dem: An info hub maintained by Tom Gerald Daly on democracy and COVID-19 crisis.
- (Re-)Imagining Territorial Politics in Times of Crisis: UACES-JMCT Research Network launched a new blog exploring the drivers and consequences of territorial conflicts in multi-level and pluri-national societies during these turbulent times including COVID-19 crisis.
- iPolitics: The website now has a policy portal for COVID-19 related articles.
- CRIDAQ: Le centre a créé une rubrique pour accéder plus facilement aux articles de ses membres sur la COVID-19.
- Canada: McGill Institute for the Study of Canada video titled A Critical Juncture in Fiscal Federalism? Canada & COVID-19, where Profs Daniel Béland (McGill U.), Mireille Paquet (Concordia U.), André Lecours (U. Ottawa), and Trevor Tombe (U. Calgary) present their Canadian Journal of Political Science research note, which combines insights from historical institutionalism with recent economic and fiscal projections to explore avenues for reform in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
- United Kingdom / Royaume Uni: Test, trace and trust: digital technologies & the COVID-19 response across the UK’s devolved nations: Ada Lovelace Institute organized a webinar where panelists discuss the governance and implementation of emerging technologies and how joined-up approaches to COVID-19 across England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales could help to contain the virus and encourage public trust. Speakers are Dr Angela Daly (Strathclyde U.), Professor Maurice Mulvenna (Ulster U.), and Professor Pete Burnap (Cardiff U.). You can also read a written summary of the webinar.
- Canada: Alain-G. Gagnon parle du partage des risques entre les institutions régissant la fédération canadienne en temps de crise dans ce balado.
- Australia / Australie: Cheryl Saunders explains the “National Cabinet”, an ad hoc Australian intergovernmental institution set up for responding to COVID-19 in this video.
- Germany / Allemagne: Centre Interdisciplinaire d’Études et de Recherche sur l’Allemagne (CIERA, Paris) présente des capsules vidéos appelées « Instantanés » sur la lutte contre la COVID. Dans la première vidéo, Karim Fertikh propose des pistes de réflexions sur le modèle allemand, y compris une réflexion sur les effets du fédéralisme allemand dans cette lutte. Dans la deuxième vidéo, Christophe Duhamelle interroge le fédéralisme allemand à la lumière d’autres épidémies de l’histoire allemande.
- USA / États-Unis: In this podcast from Legal Talk Network, Professors Robert Tsai and Glenn Cohen discuss federalism in the US and states’ powers in the context of the COVID-19 crisis.
- Germany, EU & international / Allemagne, UE et international: Verfassungsblog is organizing three online discussions on COVID-19 crisis regarding with German, European and International perspectives.
- Minorities and COVID-19 webinar series: Eurac Research Institute for Minority Rights, WEBINAR: Episode 3: Minorities, territorial governance and inter-state relations in pandemic times, Wed. 27 May, 3-4pm CET. Registration (https://scientificnet.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJEuce6hqD8uE9Egye0dmB7V0zc1zvdYEWA_)
3. Existing research projects and calls for papers
Projets de recherche en cours et appels à contribution
- Canadian Journal of Political Science: The Canadian Journal of Political Science is now accepting short research notes (2,000 words or less) devoted to the coronavirus pandemic for rapid peer review and publication. They will accept submissions for the COVID-19 rapid review series until 31 May 2020. After that date, they will continue to accept submissions related to COVID-19 as part of their regular research note and article manuscript submissions. Please see the call for more details.
- The Review of Constitutional Studies: The Journal is now accepting submissions of manuscripts in English or French for its next two issues. For Issue 25.2, papers focusing on the constitutional implications of emergency powers in response to the recent health and environmental crises are particularly welcome. The deadline for submitting a manuscript for this issue is 30 September 2020. Please see the call for papers more information.
- Colloque étudiant virtuel sur le rôle des sciences sociales et humaines dans la redéfinition du vivre-ensemble : regards transdisciplinaires sur les sorties de crise: L’UOF et l’Acfas invitent les étudiantes et les étudiants au 2e et au 3e cycles ainsi que les jeunes chercheurs de toutes les disciplines à soumettre des projets de communication qui portent sur les différentes dimensions du vivre-ensemble impliquées par la crise de COVID-19. Les propositions doivent contenir un maximum de 500 mots incluant le titre, la question de recherche, les principales conclusions ainsi qu’un lien avec le thème du colloque. Elles doivent être rédigées en format Times New Roman avec une police de taille 12 et une interligne de 1,5. Le nom du fichier de la proposition doit suivre la forme suivante : prénom_nom_titre de la proposition. Elles doivent être soumises par courriel avant le 15 juin 2020. Toutes les propositions doivent être envoyées à l’adresse suivante : jade.boivin [at] uontario.ca
- CRIDAQ : Le Centre de recherche fait un appel à projet spécial COVID-19 pour ses membres.
- Public Law: The Public Law journal welcomes submissions to journal’s analysis section dealing with issues relating to the public law dimensions of the COVID-19 pandemic. Editors would keen to receive pieces with varied perspectives including (but not limited to) territorial relations and policy variation between the UK’s governments and comparative reflections on “emergency” responses in other jurisdictions. See here for more information.
- Centre for Constitutional Studies at University of Alberta welcomes posts for their ‘Pandemic Powers and the Constitution Blog’. Please see the call for posts.
- Publius: The Journal of Federalism invites scholars to submit proposals for articles for possible inclusion in a special issue, “Federalism and the Coronavirus Pandemic”. The deadline is May 20, 2020. Please see the call for papers.
- The National Journal of Constitutional Law is calling for submissions of papers for possible publication in late 2020 and 2021 on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the federalism/ human rights and civil liberties in Canada, and the constitutional and administrative law aspects of the use of emergency legislation and the role of judicial review of emergency measures in Canada. The Journal welcomes comparative analysis of these issues in other liberal democratic or federal countries. The suggested deadline is September 30, 2020. Usual paper length is between 8,000 to 10,000 words. Due to the short time frame, shorter papers will also be considered. Papers can be submitted to Professor Errol Mendes at emendes [at] uottawa.ca (.)
- Writing Competition on Federalism: The theme for the third edition of the Baxter Family Competition on Federalism is 'Federalism, Identity and Public Policy in Challenging Times', which allows for, without being limited to, reflections on the impact of federalism on the coronavirus pandemic and vice versa. Restricted to students in law or in political science, and to jurists and political scientists having graduated less than five years before the Competition's deadline of February 1, 2021. Maximum word count is 8,000 words in English and 8,800 in French. Prizes ranging from 1,000 to 5,000 CAD$ will be awarded to winners, who will have the chance to present their work at a symposium in Montreal, if circumstances permit. Details will follow here, but mark your calendars!
- Chantal Bernier, “Finding our way through privacy, data gaps and pandemic response”, Canadian Lawyer, 19 May 2020: Bernier argues that there already is a framework to provide privacy protection while also collecting data and that Canadian governments should rely on that.
- Erica Rayment, Jason VandenBeukel, “Pandemic Parliaments: Canadian Legislatures in a Time of Crisis”, Canadian Journal of Political Science, 15 May 2020: Authors present the collected data on the activities of Canadian legislatures at the federal and provincial levels during the COVID-19 pandemic to see how their reaction has impacted their work and functions.
- Patricia Hughes, “The Constitutionality of Interprovincial/Territorial Boundary Closures (Part I)”, Slaw, 19 May 2020: Hughes discusses the legal background to the interprovincial/territorial boundary closures.
- Serges Jaumin, « Le Québec dans la tourmente de la COVID-19 », COVIDAM : la Covid-19 dans les Amériques, 14 Mai 2020 : L’auteur présente les épreuves que le Québec endure pendant cette crise et s’interroge sur les effets de la crise entre le Québec et le gouvernement fédéral. (For English version, click here.)
- Maxime St. Hilaire, « Les circonstances modernes de l'état d'urgence », ABC National, 21 Avril 2020 : L’auteur explique les théories générales sur l’état d’urgence et fait un état de lieu de l’utilisation des pouvoirs exceptionnelles au niveau des gouvernements fédéral et québécois.
- Maxime St. Hilaire, “Are Quebec and Canada having a “Schmittian” (or Iheringian) moment?”, 6 May 2020: Maxime St. Hilaire questions Quebec government’s choice of not invoking Section 33 of the Constitution Act (1982) and discusses possible theoretical frameworks for state of emergencies.
- Stéphanie Chouinard, Martin Normand, “Talk COVID to Me: Language Rights and Canadian Government Responses to the Pandemic”, Canadian Journal of Political Science, 28 April 2020: Authors argue that in addition to legal requirements to provide minority language services, it is not justifiable for governments to suspend or curtail such services in an emergency situation, for reasons pertaining to public safety and public health and explain how governments could better uphold their language obligations in times of emergency.
- Sujit Choudhry, “COVID-19 & the Canadian Constitution”, Medium, 16 April 2020.
- Alain Noel, “COVID-19 et tensions intergouvernementales”, Options Politiques, 4 Mai 2020: L’auteur présente les défis que la crise pose pour le fédéralisme canadien et attire l’attention du lecteur au problème du déséquilibre fiscal.
- Alain-G. Gagnon, « Penser l’après-COVID-19: pandémie, fédéralisme et concertation », La Presse, 28 Avril 2020 : L’auteur offre des pistes de réflexion sur l’importance de l’autonomie provinciale mais aussi de la coordination et la concertation au sein du fédéralisme canadien pour mieux répondre à la crise.
- Alex Usher, “Post-Covid Fiscal Rebalancing”, Higher Education Strategy Associates, April 28, 2020: Usher is asking if Canadian federal government providing direct help to individuals is going to become a long-term fixture of Canadian federalism and how Quebec is not currently challenging this policy.
- Andrew Potter, “Is Pandemic Federalism the New Normal?”, Max Bell School of Public Policy, 30 May 2020: Andrew Potter discusses the impact of pandemic on federalism, on fiscal policy, division of powers, internal borders, and the proper scrutinizing role of Parliament in Canada.
- Amy Swiffen, “The limits of Canada’s federal emergency law during the coronavirus pandemic”, The Conversation, 1 April 2020: Swiffen concentrates on limitations of Canadian federalism and asks if Federal Emergencies Act gives enough power to federal government to deal with COVID-19 considering that federal government can intervene only if the spread exceeds capacities of the provinces according to the Act.
- Bob Rae, “Federalism and the COVID-19 crisis: The view from Canada”, Forum of Federations Blog: Former Ontario premier looks at Canada’s response.
- Catherine Xhardez, Mireille Paquet, « Immigration : se rappeler des fondations de notre régime distinct », La Presse, 23 Avril 2020 : Les chercheuses prévient contre le danger de mettre en question les pouvoirs que le Québec détient en matière d’immigration pendant la pandémie.
- Charles Breton, Mohy-Dean Tabbara, “How the Provinces Compare in their Covid-19 Responses”, 22 April 2020 : The authors compare provincical responses by presenting data on measures taken and their timing.
- Daniel Béland, André Lecours, Mireille Paquet, and Trevor Tombe, “A Critical Juncture in Fiscal Federalism? Canada's Response to COVID-19”, Canadian Journal of Political Science, 20 April 2020: Authors discuss how Canada’s response to COVID-19 crisis may transform fiscal federalism in the light of provincial autonomy and already existing intergovernmental tensions.
- David Dyzenhaus, “Canada the Good?”, University of Alberta Center for Constitutional Studies Blog, 27 April 2020: Dyzenhaus writes about emergency powers of federal government and the lack of checks on these powers.
- François Laroque, Linda Cardinal, « Le français, autre victime de la Covid-19 au Canada », The Conversation, 5 Mai 2020 : Les auteur.e.s parlent des dangers que la crise cause pour la langue française en raison du manque d’un cadre au niveau fédéral.
- Gérard Boismenu, « Covid-19, agent révélateur des fractures canadiennes », COVIDAM : la Covid-19 dans les Amériques, 9 Avril 2020 : Boismenu compare les réponses des provinces et la réponse fédérale pour la crise.
- Marc Lee, Arman Hamidian, “Comparing provincial economic responses to COVID-19”, Policy Note, 23 April 2020: Lee and Hamidian compares economic responses of Canadian provinces and points out to the need for a comprehensive federal response.
- Mirelle Paquet, Robert Schertzer, “COVID-19 as a Complex Intergovernmental Problem” (2020) Canadian Journal of Political Science: Paquet and Schertzer introduce the concept of “Complex Intergovernmental Problem” and propose it as a framework to treat intergovernmental issues in federal systems related to COVID-19 crisis by giving examples form Canadian context.
- Robert Schetzer, Mirelle Paquet, “How well is Canada’s intergovernmental system is handling the crisis?”, Policy Options, 8 April 2020: Authors assess how well provincial governments and the federal government are handling the crisis and how the lessons from previous crises helped.
- Stéphanie Chouinard, “COVID-19 crisis sheds light on blind spot of Canadian federalism: interprovincial collaboration”, iPolitics, 9 April 2020: Chouinard focuses on horizontal collaboration during this crisis and calls for better collaboration.
Argentina / Argentine
- Matías Bianchi, “Federalism and the COVID-19 crisis: More federalism than ever in Argentina”, Forum of Federations Blog: Bianchi explains how federalism is rising to the challenge in Argentina during this crisis.
Australia / Australie
- Chris Wallace, “Schools have been ideological battlegrounds in the past. In the coronavirus crisis, they are again”, The Conversation, 3 May 2020: Wallace explains the tension between federal and Victorian government about closure and re-opening of schools and highlights problems of Australian federalism on matters related to education policies.
- John Warhurst, “Grappling with the realities of a national cabinet”, Canberra Times, 26 March 2020: Warhurst questions, with a special focus on accountability, the benefits of “National Cabinet”, an intergovernmental cabinet formed to coordinate responses to COVID-19 in Australia.
- Paul Carp, “Coalition offers independent schools early funding if they return to face-to-face teaching”, The Guardian, 29 April 2020: Paul Karp reports on how independent schools are caught up in the tension between federal and Victorian government.
- Roger Wilkins, “Federalism and the COVID-19 crisis: An Australian Perspective”, Forum of Federations Blog: Author explains how different levels of government are coordinating the response to the pandemic.
- Tamara Tulich, Marco Rizzi, Fiona McGaughey, “Cooperative Federalism, Soft Governance and Hard Laws in Australia’s State of Emergency”, Verfassungsblog, 10 April 2020: Authors discuss Australian response to the crisis with a section focused on the National Cabinet “comprised of the Prime Minister of Australia, the Premiers of the six Australian states and the Chief Ministers of the two Australian territories.
Austria / Autriche
- Peter Bußjäger, “COVID-19 crisis challenging Austria’s cooperative federalism”, Institut für Föderalismus Blog, 28 April 2020: The author focuses on some of the mistakes made in handling of the crisis and underlines the importance of intergovernmental cooperation.
Belgium / Belgique
- Toon Moonen, Jonas Riemslagh, “Fighting COVID 19 – Legal Powers and Risks: Belgium”, Verfassungsblog, 25 March 2020: Authors focus on three types of early measures taken during the crisis: containment measures, the granting of ‘special powers’ to the executive and measures aimed at socio-economic survival and recovery. They also provide details on how Belgium’s federated entities use their powers to respond to the crisis.
- Centre de droit public de l’Université Libre de Bruxelles publie des carnets de crise sur les effets de la crise avec un appui sur le droit public belge.
- Frédéric Bouhon, Andy Jousten, Xavier Miny et Emmanuel Slautsky, “L’État belge face à la pandémie de Covid-19 : esquisse d’un régime d’exception”, (2020) 2446 Courrier hebdomadaire du CRISP: Les auteur.e.s expliquent comment la gestion de la crise ébranle les dynamiques du fédéralisme belge, la séparation du pouvoir au sein des gouvernements fédérés et fédéral, et le régime des droits fondamentaux. (English version: summary on I-CONNECT Blog.)
- Ivan de Vadder, « Chers politiques, faites en sorte que le goût de l’après-corona ne soit pas amer », Le Soir, 6 Mai 2020 : Le chroniqueur s’interrogent sur les changements qui attendent l’État belge après cette crise en attirant l’attention des lecteurs aux demandes des réformes différentes des francophones (transfert des pouvoirs relatif à la santé publique au niveau fédéral) et des flamands (transfert des pouvoirs aux unités constituantes).
- Patricia Popeliers, “The impact of the Covid-19 crisis on the federal dynamics in Belgium”, UACES Territorial Politics Blog, 5 May 2020: Popeliers highlights the centralizing effect of this crisis and the need for an institutionalized framework for health-related crisis management.
- Peter Bursens, “Federalism and the COVID-19 crisis: Reflections on competences, actors and party politics in Belgium”, Forum of Federations Blog: Bursens examines how different federal level of governance in Belgium are operating during the crisis.
- Sarah Ganty, “Belgium and COVID-19: When a Health Crisis Replaces a Political Crisis”, Verfassungsblog, 21 April 2020: Ganty shows how this crisis underlined the fragility of federalism in Belgium.
Bosnia and Herzegovina / Bosnie-Herzégovine
- Nina Sajic, “Federal institutional design and the COVID 19 crisis management in Bosnia and Herzegovina”, Forum of Federations Blog: Sajic delves into the practical application of the governance structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina and how it operated throughout the COVID pandemic and points the resurfacing divide within the federation out.
- Soeren Keil, “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Covid-19 Crisis”, UACES Territorial Politics, 12 May 2020: Keil explains how Bosnia and Herzegovina became a “role model” on how to handle the crisis.
Brazil / Brésil
- Sthéfano Bruno Santos Divino, “The Brazilian Government’s Actions Against the COVID-19” [.pdf], Biodritto, 16 March 2020: Author explains early measures of Brazilian federal government to fight COVID-19.
- Ana Carolina Lorena, Eduardo Henrique Correa da Silva Paranhos Neris, “Federalism and the COVID-19 crisis: Perspectives for Brazil”, Forum of Federations Blog: Authors discusses Brazil’s response to the COVID crisis and how the lack of a stable intergovernmental coordination affects this response.
- Emilio Peluso Neder Meyer, Thomas Bustamante, “Authoritarianism Without Emergency Powers: Brazil Under COVID-19”, Verfassungsblog, 2 April 2020: Authors discuss Brazil’s response to crisis while addressing the power struggle between state governors and the President.
- Different media outlets (Time, Bloomberg, ABC News, The Globe and Mail) and NGOs (Human Rights Watch) report on the power struggle between state governors and President Bolsonaro and how the federal courts are revoking or suspending Bolsonaro’s decrees that limit the powers of state governors.
China / Chine
- Yuxue Fang, “Fighting COVID 19 – Supportive Measures for Employees and Enterprises in China”, Verfassungsblog, 22 March 2020: Fang explains the legal basis and scope of restrictive measures, and supportive measures for financially affected employees and enterprises while offering a brief overview of subnational measures.
European Union / Union européenne
- Eric Maurice, Ramona Bloj, Stefanie Buzmaniuk Cécile Antonnini, Catherine D’Angelo, “COVID-19: European Responses,: A Complete Picture” [.pdf], Fondation Robert Schuman, 12 May 2020: Authors provide an overview of all the measures taken so far, at national and EU level explaining that the EU’s ability act depends largely on Member States.
- Fondation Robert Schuman, “The European Union and the Coronavirus”, 6 April 2020: The article outlines the EU’s competences in health, argues even though the Union did not have extensive competence on this matter, the EU’s action created an unease. It also illustrates the crisis’s fragmenting effect on European integration.
- Iñigo de Miguel, Elena Atienza-Macías, “What Can We Expect From the EU Legal Framework in a Pandemic Outbreak?” [.pdf], Biodritto, 14 March 2020: Researchers explain how the EU could help the Member States to cope with COVID-19 and focus on the so-called, “Solidarity Clause” as well as the Integrated Political Crisis Response arrangements.
- John Bruton, “Where can the EU find the ammunition to fight a coronavirus-induced economic slump?” [.pdf], Fondation Robert Schuman, 6 April 2020: Bruton criticizes the first reactions of Member States to the crisis and evaluates possible economic solutions to the economic problems.
- Rory Montgomery, “Solidarity in a Time of Crisis: The EU and the Pandemic”, TCD COVID-19 Crisis Blog, 6 April 2020: Montgomery outlines how European solidarity is being tested as a result of the pandemic and what role the EU can play and argues the EU has more powers to combat with the economic difficulties in the aftermath of the pandemic.
- Alberto Alemenno, “Testing the Limits of EU Health Emergency Power”, Verfassungsblog, 18 April 2020: Author presents the challenges that the crisis created for EU and how it showed the limits of its powers.
Council of Europe/ Conseil d’Europe
- Council of Europe, “Respecting democracy, rule of law and human rights in the framework of the COVID-19 sanitary crisis: A toolkit for member states”, 7 April 2020: The Council published an information document for its member states for dealing with the COVID-19 crisis in a way that respects the fundamental values of democracy, rule of law and human rights. The document acknowledges the need for central governments to bypass standard division of competences, but it also underlines that the rights of local and regional authorities should be re-established as soon as the situation allows it.
Ethiopia / Éthiopie
- Zemelak Ayitenew Ayele, “Federalism and the COVID-19 crisis: The perspective from Ethiopia”, Forum of Federations Blog: Author explains how different levels of government responded to the crisis.
Germany / Allemagne
- Anika Anika Klafki, Andrea Kießling, “Fighting COVID 19 – Legal Powers and Risks: Germany”, Verfassungsblog, 20 March 2020: Authors provide an overview of the relevant legal instruments in the fight against the virus as well as the tensions due to the federalism.
- Constanze Stelzenmüller, Sam Denney, “COVID-19 Is a Severe Test for Germany’s Postwar Constitution”, Law Fare Blog, 16 April 2020: Authors discuss to what extent the German constitutional order is apt to counter the crisis and also addresses federalism in a specific section to explain how the revised Infection Protection Act gave new powers to the federal government and how this revision and other practices within the parliament have a centralizing effect on German federalism.
- Gaëlle Winter, « Regards sur la réaction allemande à la crise du Covid-19 », Notes de la Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique, 20 Avril 2020 : Cette note détaillée sur la réponse allemande met en lumière – parmi d’autres – les conditions peu favorables du fédéralisme allemand pour la gestion de la crise, surtout en matière de partage des compétences ; explique comment ces institutions se sont adaptées et offre une réflexion sur l’impact de la crise aux relations européennes.
- Georg Milbradt, “Federalism and the COVID-19 crisis: A perspective from Germany”, Forum of Federations Blog: Author examines Germany’s experience dealing with the COVID-19.
- Holger Hestermeier, “Coronavirus Lockdown-Measures before the German Constitutional Court”, IDEA - Voices from the Field, 30 April 2020: Author summarizes case-law of German Constitutional Court about lockdown-measures adopted by several states (Länder).
- Philip Oltermann, “Germany's devolved logic is helping it win the coronavirus race”, The Guardian, 5 April 2020: Oltermann explains how devolution helps administering tests more effectively.
- Stéphane Roland, “L’Allemagne malade de son fédéralisme”, Libération, 16 Mars 2020 : Roland présente les défis que le fédéralisme allemand peut créer dans cette crise.
India / Inde
- Kevin James, “Covid-19 and the Need for Clear Centre-State Roles”, VIDHI Centre for Legal Policy, 3 April 2020: Author is arguing for a clearer separation of vertical powers and criticizes the centralizing effects of COVID-19 measures taken by the central government.
- Rekha Saxena, “Federalism and the COVID-19 crisis: Centre-State apposite relations in Pandemic Federalism – India”, Forum of Federations Blog: Saxena details how the Indian federal system has worked closely together through a collaboration between the states and central government in a broad effort to flatten the curve and preserve healthcare in this populous country.
- Parth Maniktala, “Diluting Federalism In The Fight Against COVID-19 Pandemic”, Outlook, 27 April 2020: Maniktala warns against the weakening of states’ power to cope with pandemic due to the effects of concentrating a majority of the resources in a Fund controlled by the central government.
Italy / Italie
- Francesco Palermo, “Devolution and COVID-19: Italy: did the virus infect the regional system?”, Forum of Federations Blog: Palermo explains the centralizing effects of the Italy’s response to COVID-19 and how the tensions between regions and central government might affect the governance even after the end of the crisis.
Mexico / Mexique
- Benjamin Russell, “Mexico’s Governors Find Their Voice – and the Spotlight – in COVID-19”, American Quarterly, 21 April 2020: Russell reports how governors became important actors in Mexico during this pandemic.
- Laura Flamand, “Federalism and COVID: Managing the health and economic crisis in the Mexican federation”, Forum of Federations Blog: Flamand explains the various responses from all level of government in Mexico to the COVID pandemic.
Nepal / Népal
- Iain Payne, George Varughese, “Governing Lawfully in Crisis: COVID-19 and Public Accountability in Nepal” IACL-IADC Blog, 26 March 2020: Payne and Varughese raise their concerns about the probable centralizing effects of the response to this crisis.
- Surendra Pandey, “Federalism and the COVID-19 crisis: Nepal’s Condition and Efforts”, Forum of Federations Blog: Pandey describes Nepal has grappled with the COVID pandemic during their transition period to federalism.
Nigeria / Nigéria
- Dele Babaloa, “Federalism and the Covid-19 pandemic: the Nigerian experience”, UACES Territorial Politics, 22 May 2020: Author argues how Nigerian federalism mostly rose to the challenges of the COVID-19 crisis with cooperative federalism, but also explains minor conflicts between the two levels of government.
- Lukman Abdulrauf, “Nigeria’s Emergency (Legal) Response to COVID-19: A Worthy Sacrifice for Public Health?”, Verfassungsblog, 18 May 2020: Abdulrauf discusses restrictions on human rights, including the suspension of inter and intra state movements, due to the state of emergency as well as the controversial the Control of Infectious Diseases Bill 2020.
- Julius O. Ihonvbere, “Federalism and the COVID-19 crisis: Nigerian Federalism”, Forum of Federations Blog: Ihonvbere discusses Nigeria’s response to COVID-19 and explains how it shows central government’s dependence on local authorities.
- Remi Okeke, “COVID-19 Pandemic, Federalism and Nigeria’s Leadership Challenges”, Advance, 20 April 2020: Okeke proposes to restructure Nigerian state by creating more states for post-COVID-19 period.
- Nasir Iqbal, “SC dismayed at closure of businesses by provincial govts” Dawn, 5 May 2020: Supreme Court of Pakistan expressed dismay over shutting down of business activities by the provincial governments during ongoing proceedings.
- Saleem Mandviwalla, “Federalism and the COVID-19 crisis: A Pakistani Perspective”, Forum of Federations Blog: Mandviwalla documents how recent constitutional changes gave provinces the ability to react swiftly to the pandemic in the health sphere while the federal government flexed their muscle to aid the economy.
Russia / Russie
- Patrick Kennelly, “How Has Russia Responded to COVID-19?”, Lawfare Blog, 15 May 2020: Kennelly discusses Russia’s struggle with COVID-19 and focuses on the fact that Putin deferred to governors and mayors for a solution.
- Galina Kurlyandskaya, “Emergency Federalism” Russian Style”, Forum of Federations Blog: Author explains the impact of the COVID crisis on the Russian federation and focuses on “top-down” approach of federal government.
Spain / Espagne
- Alba Nogueira López, Gabriel Doménech Pascual, “Fighting COVID 19 – Legal Powers and Risks: Spain”, Verfassungsblog, 30 March 2020: Authors look at major legal issues related to COVID-19, including the question of whether the central government should have powers devolved to better manage the crisis power grab of the central government.
- Ayoze Corujo, Acaymo Viera, “Canary Islands, Spain and Covid-19”, UACES Territorial Politics, 19 May 2020: Authors focus specifically on the relationship between the Canary Islands and Spain while explaining how and why the central government is adopting territorially different responses for the exit strategy.
- Fernando Jiménez Sánchez est, “The Political Management of the Covid-19 Crisis in Spain” [.pdf], Fondation Robert Schuman, April 2020: Author provides a limited and provisional analysis of the impact of COVID-19 related measures on the system of government and highlights the lack of coordination between regions.
- Miguel Ángel Presno Linera, “Beyond the State of Alarm: COVID-19 in Spain”, Verfassungsblog, 13 May 2020: Linera outlines the legal foundations of the State of Alarm declared by the Spanish government and explains how Spain’s decentralized structure fits into this frame.
- Mario Kölling, “Federalism and the COVID-19 crisis: A perspective from Spain”, Forum of Federations Blog: Kölling describes Spain’s healthcare system and the rapid federal response to the pandemic.
South Africa / Afrique du Sud
- Nico Steytler, “Federalism and the COVID-19 crisis: A perspective on South Africa” [.pdf], Forum of Federations Blog: Author explains how this crisis illustrated the centralized nature of South African federalism and argues for a more differentiated response for the exit strategy and economic recovery.
Switzerland / Suisse
- Felix Uhlmann, “Fighting COVID 19 – Legal Powers and Risks: SWITZERLAND”, Verfassungsblog, 23 March 2020: Author explains the legal background and early-stage problems regarding the response to COVID-19 as well as its impact on federalism.
- L’Institut du Fédéralisme a publié une infolettre spéciale sur COVID-19 et le fédéralisme suisse.
- Frédéric Ney, « Avec le Covid-19, le fédéralisme d’exécution est-il «au pied du mur»? », Heidi.News, 09 Avril 2020 : L’avocat s’interroge sur l’exécution des mesures prises au niveau fédéral par les cantons et demande si ce temps d’exception justifierait la mainmise de pouvoir par le gouvernement fédéral.
- Hans Altherr, “Federalism and the COVID-19 crisis: An interim perspective from Switzerland”, Forum of Federations Blog: Altherr looks at what Switzerland has done to date.
- Patrick Monay, « Le virus met le fédéralisme suisse à l’épreuve », 24 Heures, 27 mars 2020 : Le journaliste explique les tensions entre la confédération suisse et les cantons en ce qui concerne les directives de protection contre la COVID-19.
- Pierre Yves-Bosshard, « Le fédéralisme à l’épreuve de la crise sanitaire », Domaine Public, 11 avril 2020 : Bosshard explique comment la répartition des compétences ont changé au cours de l’histoire de la Confédération en matière de la lutte contre les épidémies.
- Urs Geiser, “How the virus puts the Swiss political system to test” SwissInfo, 27 Mars 2020: The journalist explains how Switzerland avoids sacrificing its federal system while responding to the COVID-19.
United Kingdom / Royaume-Uni
- Akash Paun, Jess Sargeant, Alex Nice, “A four-nation exit strategy”, Institute for Government, 06 May 2020: Authors explain why differentiated exit strategies are necessary and offer suggestions about how to avoid confusion.
- Paul F. Scott, “Fighting COVID 19 – Legal Powers and Risks: The United Kingdom”, Verfassungsblog, 21 March 2020: Scott discusses the early responses to the pandemic in the UK and the challenges that the devolution may cause to this response.
- Clive Grace, “Devolution and the COVID-19 crisis: A View From the UK”, Forum of Federations Blog: Author explores the unifying effect of the crisis as well the differences that arose within the UK.
- Kathleen Nutt, “Devolved nations reject Westminster's new 'stay alert' slogan”, The National, 11 May 2020: Kathleen Nutt reports on devolved governments’ resistance to Westminster’s exit strategy from the lockdown.
- Laura Webster, “UK wrongly tells Scots civil servants told to go back to work”, The National, 12 May 2020: The journalist reports on differences between England and Scotland regarding the lifting of lockdown.
- Paul Anderson, “Territorial Politics, Coronavirus and the UK: Cooperation amidst Crisis”, UACES Territorial Politics, 8 May 2020: Anderson focuses on the divergence from UK-wide approaches, mainly the debate on exit strategy.
- Kate Proctor, “Wales could lift coronavirus lockdown before rest of UK, says first minister”, The Guardian, 27 April 2020: Journalist presents the possibility of a different lockdown lifting plan for Wales and discusses how this can fit into a coordinated UK plan.
United States / États-Unis
- Ben Berwick, John Langford, Erica Newland, Kristy Parker, “Trump Can’t Reopen the Country Over State Objections”, Lawfare Blog, 27 March 2020: Authors argue that the US President does not have authority to reopen the country if states resist.
- Emmanuelle Perez Tisserand, « La Californie est-elle un « État-nation »? », COVIDAM : la Covid-19 dans les Amériques, 15 Mai 2020 : L’auteure explique comment la COVID-19 a accentué les tensions entre la Californie et le gouvernement fédéral. (For the English version, click here.)
- Leila Barraza, Sarah A. Wetter, “Fighting COVID 19 – Navigating Protections for Businesses and Workers in the United States”, Verfassungsblog, 22 March 2020: Authors discuss economic measures that the federal government can take to fight this crisis while underlining the fracture between states and the federal government.
- Robert Chesney, “Can the Federal Government Override State Government Rules on Social Distancing to Promote the Economy?”, Lawfare Blog, 24 March 2020: Chesney discusses if the President has the power to force the state and local officials’ to change their decisions.
- John Kincaid, “U.S. Federalism and the Covid-19 Pandemic”, UACES Territorial Politics, 15 May 2020: Kincaid explains how the US response “has been hampered by partisan polarization and misunderstood federalism”.
- Alexandra Cockerham, Robert E. Crew Jr, “The Covid-19 pandemic shows the power and limits of American federalism.” LSE US Centre Blog: Authors explain how the crisis shed light on American federalism.
- Charles C. W. Cooke, “COVID Federalism”, National Review, 16 April 2020: Charles C. W. Cooke praises federalism as a system for a better response to the pandemic in the US.
- J. Wesley Leckrone, John Kincaid, “Federalism and the COVID-19 Crisis in the United States of America”, Forum of Federations Blog: Professors explain how state governments and the US federal government use distinct constitutional powers to manage this crisis.
- Jennifer Selin, “Trump vs. the States: What Federalism means for the corona virus Response”, The Conversation, 17 April 2020: Selin discusses how division of powers within US federalism affects the response to COVID-19 crisis.
- Justin Ross, Victoria Perez, “ Federalism and Polycentric Government in a Pandemic”, Mercatus Center COVID-19 Policy Brief Series, 3 April 2020: Writers propose policy solutions for local governments on intergovernmental cooperation and local finances in the US context.
- Laurence H. Tribe, “Don’t let coronavirus failures shake your faith in federalism”, Boston Globe, 29 April 2020: Professor Tribe explains why federalism should not be blamed for the ineffectiveness against COVID-19 in the US by giving examples of effective policies of several states.
- Mathilde Laporte et Maud Michaut, « Crise du Covid-19 et fédéralisme aux États-Unis », Jus Politicum Blog, 14 avril 2020 : Les doctorantes expliquent les effets des mesures sur la libre circulation au sein de l’Union et s’interrogent sur leur conformité à la constitution fédérale en se concentrant sur les relations intergouvernementales.
- Noah Feldman, “U.S. Federalism Isn’t Great at Handling Pandemics”, Bloomberg, 19 March 2020: Author argues that a stronger federal government would be preferable to the current division of powers.
- Rebecca L. Haffajee, Michelle M. Mello, “Thinking Globally, Acting Locally — The U.S. Response to Covid-19”, The New England Journal of Medicine, 2 April 2020: Authors discuss the weaknesses of federalist system of public health governance in the US as it surfaced during this pandemic.
- Richard Kreitner, “How Would You Like to Live in the Nation of New England?”, The New York Times, 23 April 2020: Kreitner offers regional alliances developed by several states in the US for responding to COVID-19 crisis as an alternative to an outdated US federalism.
- Stephen M. Griffin, “American Federalism, the Coronavirus Pandemic, and the Legacy of Hurricane Katrina”, IDEA - Voices From the Field, 22 April 2020: Griffin questions if a national emergency regime with a more centralized governance is a better response to this type of emergency situations.
- Walter Olson, “Federalism and the Coronavirus Lockdown”, Wall Street Journal, 30 March 2020: Author argues that the relaxation of the lockdown will depend on state governments.
- Davide Vampa, “The territorial politics of coronavirus: is this the hour of central government?”, Democratic Audit, 15 April 2020: In this piece, Vamps compares the territorial arrangements of countries facing the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic and argues that centralising power in federal systems would be misguided, and instead we should look to examples of successful coordination within multi-level forms of governance.
- Luiz de Mello, João Tovar Jalles, “Intergovernmental relations: How the global crisis led to further decentralisation”, VOX CEPR Policy Portal, 8 April 2020: Authors describe how, in particular, the crisis was associated with an increase in the subnational shares of general government spending and revenue, which are conventional quantitative gauges of fiscal decentralisation.
- France, Allemagne & Belgique: Gérald Papy, « Avantage à l’Etat fédéral », Le Vif, Numéro 19, 7 Mai 2020.
- Francesco Palermo, “Is there a space for federalism in times of emergency?”, Verfassungblog, 13 May 2020: Palermo compares responses to the crisis in many different federal systems as well as reactions to those responses, and argues for the importance of federalism during this turbulent period to protect another principle related to federalism: pluralism.
- Canada & US: James McCarten, “Compared to U.S., Canada's COVID-19 response a case study in political civility”, National Post, 14 April 2020.
- Brazil & US: Wayne Madsen, “The Pandemic’s Toll on Federalism”, Strategic Culture Foundation, 28 March 2020.
- Argentina, Brazil & Mexico: Agustina Giraudy, Sara Niedzwiecki, and Jennifer Pribble “How Political Science Explains Countries’ Reactions to COVID-19”, Americas Quarterly, 30 April 2020.
This list was prepared by Mr. Atagün Kejanlioglu, DCL candidate, and Professor Johanne Poirier, Peter MacKell Chair in Federalism, Faculty of Law, McGill University. Our thanks to the Research Group on Plurinational Societies and Québec’s Secretariat to Canadian Relations for their financial support for this project.
Please email relevant articles, links, etc. at federalism-covid19.law [at] mcgill.ca.
And please stay safe! / Prenez soin de vous et de vos proches!