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Committed to Coordination? Intergovernmental Councils as a Federal Safeguard

Schnabel, Johanna (2017) Committed to Coordination? Intergovernmental Councils as a Federal Safeguard. Swiss Political Science Review, 23 (2). pp. 191-206. E-ISSN 1662-6370. (

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In this research note, I suggest that the design of intergovernmental councils (IGC) accounts for the extent to which they are able to prevent the federal government from encroaching on subnational jurisdictions. IGC operate in areas of interdependence where the federal government faces incentives to restore to hierarchical coordination. The effect of the intergovernmental safeguard is measured by the absence or presence of federal encroachment. Two concepts are useful to explain it: the extent to which governments are committed to coordination and the dominance of the federal government of vertical IGC. I argue that different combinations of the two variables help to understand the safeguarding effect of intergovernmental councils. In particular, I contend that in any configuration in which federal dominance is present the federal government can encroach on subnational jurisdictions. The research note shows how the concept of federal safeguards can be applied empirically.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number:
Subjects: J Political Science
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Depositing User: J. Schnabel
Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2019 16:36 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Jul 2019 11:07 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Schnabel, Johanna:
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