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Federalism And Compliance With International Agreements: Belgium And Canada Compared

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Chapter Summary

This chapter aims to assess the effectiveness of two systems of governance with respect to the making of international treaties: the Canadian system; and the Belgian system. In comparing the effectiveness of these two systems, it is possible to assess the validity of those who advocate a centralist position versus those who advocate a multi-level governance view. In Canada, contrary to conventional wisdom, the Canadian federal government has been required to share parts of its foreign affairs powers with the provinces because its constitutional powers are limited. Federalism and the negotiation of international agreements have necessitated ever-closer federal-provincial cooperation since the 1960s. The chapters hypothesis is that the Belgian system is more effective then the Canadian, because sub-state actors in Belgium have a more important role to play. Because sub-state actors in Belgium participate in the decision-making process, they are more likely to respect Belgiums international obligations.

Keywords: Belgian system; Canadian system; decision-making process; federalism; foreign policy; international relations; international treaties



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