The Robust Federation: Principles of Design

Author(s): Jenna Bednar

The Robust Federation


The Robust Federation demonstrates how complementary institutions maintain and adjust the distribution of authority between national and state governments. These authority boundaries matter – for defense, economic growth, and adequate political representation – and must be defended from opportunistic transgression.  While the legacy of early institutional analysis focuses on the value of competition between institutions, such as the policy moderation produced through separated powers, Bednar offers a reciprocal theory: in an effective constitutional system, institutions complement one another; each makes the others more powerful. Diverse but complementary safeguards cover different transgressions, punish to different extents, and fail under different circumstances. 

Publication Information:

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Year of Publication: 2009