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Divided We Stand: Decentralisation, Federalism and a Union-State

KILFORD, NICHOLAS,REX (2019) Divided We Stand: Decentralisation, Federalism and a Union-State. Masters thesis, Durham University.

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This thesis undertakes an analysis of the UK’s territorial constitution, specifically the ways devolution decentralises constitutional authority within the state. It analyses the UK’s territorial history, especially its rejection of federalism, a concept which it suggests has been sorely excluded from its constitutional conscience in preference for incremental, piecemeal development. It suggests that devolution, which itself has changed much in its short life, constitutes a fundamental shift for the UK’s constitution. This fundamentality, however, is not completely recognised in the political realm, even though the judiciary have found normative space to allow it institutional respect. Although mechanisms for self rule, and some mechanisms for shared rule, do exist, neither—especially the latter—can achieve their full benefits so long as a unitary, sovereignty endorsing perspective prevails at Westminster. This perspective appears to unjustifiably deny the significance of the devolved institutions, preferring to subordinate and disregard them, asserting instead its own institutional hierarchy and proving capable of manipulating the flexible procedures that devolution has put in place. Federalism once properly understood as constitutionally accommodating and encouraging diversity within a community, rather than a prescriptive stateform, will provide for the necessary respect for institutions in order to allow the UK’s shared rule dynamics to prosper. The cooperative opportunities of the constitution can and should be realised once this federal ‘mindset’ is adopted, especially in Westminster.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Jurisprudence
Keywords:Constitutionalism, Federalism, Shared-Rule, Devolution, Territorial constitution.
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Law, Department of
Thesis Date:2019
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:22 Jan 2020 14:44

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