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Ethnic heterogeneity, economic integration and atomistic federalism in the Pacific

CollectionsPacific Economic Bulletin (1991-2010)
Title: Ethnic heterogeneity, economic integration and atomistic federalism in the Pacific
Author(s): Powell, Philip T.
Publisher: Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University
Asia Pacific Press
Atomistic federalism describes a federal system of government with a high ratio of constitutional jurisdictions to national population. The system is appropriate when ethnic heterogeneity is high and economic activity is not well integrated between communities. New theoretical research suggests that atomistic federalism in the Pacific will increase the efficiency of public administration, increase state legitimacy through elevation of voter participation rates, and reduce parliamentary hyper-competition. A game-theoretic model of cooperation between communities in a Pacific island country suggests a higher probability of regional state failure in the future unless constitutional structures are reformed to build state legitimacy. Palau offers a successful working model of atomistic federalism in the Pacific region.
ISSN: 1834-9455 (online)
0817-8038 (print)


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