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Subsidiarity and the allocation of governmental powers

Subsidiarity and the allocation of governmental powers
Subsidiarity and the allocation of governmental powers
Every country must allocate final decision-making authority over different issues/subjects within its boundaries. Historically, many scholars working on this topic implicitly assumed that identifying the features providing entities with justified claims for authority and the entities possessing those features would also identify which groups should have which powers (or vice versa). However, many candidate allocative principles select multiple entities as candidates for some sub-state authority and yet fail to explain which powers each should possess. Further work must explain which groups should possess which powers when and what to do when two groups can make equally-valid authority claims using the same principle. Subsidiarity, the principle under which authority should presumptively belong to the entity representing those ‘most affected’ by its exercise and capable of addressing underlying problems, is one of the few principles focused on identifying which groups should have which powers. Unfortunately, subsidiarity alone does not provide guidance on many issues/subjects. Useful subsidiarity-related guidance relies on balancing underlying justificatory interests, which do the real allocative work. Another allocative principle remains necessary. A deflationary account of subsidiarity’s allocative potential nonetheless provides insights into how to articulate a new principle and accounts of subsidiarity that can fulfill other moral roles.
Subsidiarity, Political Philosophy, Legal Philosophy, Constitutional Law, Authority, Federalism
0841-8209
Da Silva, Michael
05ad649f-8409-4012-8edc-88709b1a3182
Da Silva, Michael
05ad649f-8409-4012-8edc-88709b1a3182

Da Silva, Michael (2022) Subsidiarity and the allocation of governmental powers. Canadian Journal of Law & Jurisprudence. (doi:10.1017/cjlj.2022.26).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Every country must allocate final decision-making authority over different issues/subjects within its boundaries. Historically, many scholars working on this topic implicitly assumed that identifying the features providing entities with justified claims for authority and the entities possessing those features would also identify which groups should have which powers (or vice versa). However, many candidate allocative principles select multiple entities as candidates for some sub-state authority and yet fail to explain which powers each should possess. Further work must explain which groups should possess which powers when and what to do when two groups can make equally-valid authority claims using the same principle. Subsidiarity, the principle under which authority should presumptively belong to the entity representing those ‘most affected’ by its exercise and capable of addressing underlying problems, is one of the few principles focused on identifying which groups should have which powers. Unfortunately, subsidiarity alone does not provide guidance on many issues/subjects. Useful subsidiarity-related guidance relies on balancing underlying justificatory interests, which do the real allocative work. Another allocative principle remains necessary. A deflationary account of subsidiarity’s allocative potential nonetheless provides insights into how to articulate a new principle and accounts of subsidiarity that can fulfill other moral roles.

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Accepted/In Press date: 3 February 2022
e-pub ahead of print date: 8 November 2022
Additional Information: © The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of University of Western Ontario (Faculty of Law)
Keywords: Subsidiarity, Political Philosophy, Legal Philosophy, Constitutional Law, Authority, Federalism

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 457207
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/457207
ISSN: 0841-8209
PURE UUID: 5ef059d7-ea7a-4525-8165-191eb3625d2d

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Date deposited: 26 May 2022 16:42
Last modified: 11 Nov 2022 17:37

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Author: Michael Da Silva

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