© 2018

Constitutional Politics and the Territorial Question in Canada and the United Kingdom

Federalism and Devolution Compared

  • Michael Keating
  • Guy Laforest


  • Contributes to our understanding of constitutional and political developments taking place in Canada and the United Kingdom

  • Ensures a genuinely comparative approach by taking the two countries together in each case

  • Places the study of devolution in the United Kingdom, particularly in Scotland, in a much-needed comparative context


Part of the Comparative Territorial Politics book series (COMPTPOL)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Michael Keating, Guy Laforest
    Pages 1-18
  3. George Anderson, Jim Gallagher
    Pages 19-46
  4. Lori Thorlakson, Michael Keating
    Pages 135-158
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 187-194

About this book


This book compares the constitutional politics in Canada and the United Kingdom – two complex, multilevel, plurinational states. While the former is federal and the latter a devolved state, the logic of both systems is similar: to combine unity with diversity. Both are facing similar challenges in a world marked by spatial rescaling, international interdependence and economic and social change. The contributors chart these challenges and the responses of the two countries, covering the meanings of federalism and devolution; the role of the courts; fiscal equalization; welfare; party politics; reform by popular referendum and citizen assemblies; and intergovernmental relations. The book will be of interest to students of federalism and multilevel government, state transformation territorial politics on both sides of the Atlantic.


plurinational federalism welfare federalism competitive federalism interdependency and intergovernmental relations territorial equity territorial party politics in the UK devolution in Canada devolution in the UK fiscal federal arrangements in Canada fiscal federal arrangements in the UK territorial party politics in Canada role of the courts in plurinational states popular referendums in the UK popular referendums in Canada

Editors and affiliations

  • Michael Keating
    • 1
  • Guy Laforest
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre on Constitutional ChangeUniversity of EdinburghEdinburghUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.Laval UniversityQuebec CityCanada

About the editors

Michael Keating is Professor of Politics at the University of Aberdeen, UK, and Director of the Centre on Constitutional Change. He has taught at universities in Canada and the UK as well as the USA, Spain, Italy and France.  He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the British Academy, the Academy of Social Science and the European Academy.

Guy Laforest is Professor of Political Science at Université Laval, in Québec City, Québec, Canada. He has taught at universities across Canada, in the United States and in Spain. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and President of the Humanities and Social Sciences Federation of Canada.

Bibliographic information