Deliberative Federalism

Haig Patapan examines a theory of ‘deliberative federalism’ that claims ‘federalism, in giving political and legal authority to disparate voices within the federal state, can make institutional room for deliberation’, which in turn might have salutary effects on the protection of rights in federal societies. Considering evidence from the United States, they reach the conclusion that any pro-deliberative effects of federalism are uneven, as ‘federalism will in some cases permit what appear to be unjust institutions and practices to persist, and indeed thrive’.