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|Title: ||How Courts Decide Federalism Disputes: Legal Merit, Attitudinal Effects and Strategic Considerations in the Jurisprudence of the Belgian Constitutional Court|
|Authors: ||Patricia Popelier|
|Issue Date: ||2019|
|Citation: ||Publius: The Journal of Federalism, 49(4), p. 587-616|
|Abstract: ||An urgent question in contemporary federal theory is how institutions impact upon the centralization
grade of multi-tiered systems.This article focuses on constitutional courts as one of such institutions.
It constructs a classification for measuring a court’s position in federalism disputes and tests
hypotheses about what determines variation across decisions within one court. The case study is
Belgium, as a model of contemporary fragmenting systems.We find that if the defending party is
the federal government, the probability of a centralist outcome increases compared to when a substate government is the defendant, and vice versa. Evidence suggests that legal merit plays a role to
this effect.We further find that each state reform decreases the probability of a centralist outcome.
This appears to be a consequence of strategic considerations.We finally find suggestive evidence that
the organization of the court does not fully succeed in playing down judges’ ideological preferences.|
|Type: ||Journal Contribution|
|Appears in Collections: ||Research publications|
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