The aim of the research project, titled «Managing the Coronavirus pandemic: Federal systems a boon or bane?» is to provide a framework for comparative analysis between the different federal and decentralises systems around the world in the context of the current pandemic crisis; how did very different federal/decentralised systems deal with exactly the same issue at the same time.

The management of the pandemic in federal countries brings to the fore the central elements of their federal systems: the «real» autonomy of states over critical areas affected such as disaster management, health care services, and control over public institutions. A further element is the responsibility of the federal governments both for the effective exercise of their responsibilities and for coordination. Given the division of powers and responsibilities among levels of government, tensions and strains may develop in any federal system in managing the pandemic.

The overarching question is: Has the federal dispensation helped or hindered the management of the pandemic? Have subnational governments been leading or obstructing the imposition of effective curative and preventive measures, as well as dealing with the economic and social aftermath? Have subnational governments become mere implementers or administrators of federal dictates as the federal system disappears temporarily? Overall, are federal systems a boon or bane for managing the pandemic?

The project will provide a comprehensive and comparative overview of most federal systems in the world, involving more than 20 countries: among others, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, United States, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Brasil, India, South Africa and Australia. The Basque case is also going to be included within the chapter regarding the Spanish State.

The Research project has been promoted by the International Association of Centers for Federal Studies (IACFS). The IACFS is an interdisciplinary association of Centers and Institutes throughout the world with interests in independent research and publication about political, constitutional, legal, administrative, fiscal, economic, historical and philosophical issues relevant to political systems which have federal features. Ituna Center is member of the IACFS since 2019.

The aim is to present the results of the researching in the Annual Conference of the IACFS foreseen for next October in Ethiopia.

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