More voice, less exit: sub-federal resistance to international procurement liberalization in the European Union, the United States and Canada

Comparative federalism contributes to a better understanding of the relationship between ‘Brussels’ and member states in international trade policy. Analysing the understudied field of international procurement liberalization and comparing the European Union (EU), the United States (US) and Canada, the article observes that sub-federal resistance has differed across federations. It finds that the more ‘voice’ sub-federal executives enjoy, the less they ‘exit’ from international commitments. Voice hinges on their representation in federation-wide decision-making (council or senate) and the sectoral nature of vertical relations (collaborative or competitive). In the US senate federation, effective means of joint policy-making have not evolved in this non-coercive field, inciting states to exit. In Canada, increasing collaboration has compensated provinces for senate federalism’s low voice, reducing their resistance. EU ‘second chamber federalism’ proves peculiar for constituent units’ decisive role and its dense and trusting regime of collaboration. Member states’ high voice has encouraged their low resistance. 

Freudlsperger, C. (2018) ‘More Voice, Less Exit: Sub-Federal Resistance to International Procurement Liberalisation in the European Union, the United States and Canada’, Journal of European Public Policy, 25(11), 1686-1706.

Image: CC Edward Liu, source: