Rileggiamo i classici. Lo scetticismo di C.D. Tarlton sui sistemi federali asimmetrici (a cura di F. Leotta)

This is another approach to the study of the reasons for which some federations fail to be established or, when established, dissolve again into their components.

Ivo D. Duchacek, Comparative Federalism, 2nd ed., New York, University Press of America, 1987, 283

Presentazione.

Nel 1965 Charles D. Tarlton pubblica su “The Journal of Politics” un breve saggio, dal titolo “Symmetry and Asymmetry as Elements of Federalism: A Theoretical Speculation“, destinato a diventare un punto di riferimento, una pietra miliare, quasi, nelle teoriche sugli assetti interni dei sistemi autonomistici.

A ben vedere, come tra l’altro espressamente precisato dall’Autore, non si tratta di un’opera di ricostruzione complessiva di un assetto federale, ma di una riflessione su quella che Tarlton stesso definisce “a principal weakness” negli studi sul federalismo, ossia la mancata considerazione dei diversi modi in cui ogni Stato membro di un sistema federale si relaziona con l’autorità centrale e con gli altri Stati membri (the federal relationship).

In breve, l’attualità della tesi di C. D. Tarlton risiede nell’aver segnalato la centralità che assume, nelle complesse dinamiche federali (ed autonomistiche in genere), il mantenimento dell’equilibrio nei rapporti tra i diversi componenti del sistema, avvertendo che la scelta di “assecondare” le differenziazioni non sempre ha come risultato quello di potenziare l’ordinamento federale nel suo complesso. In altri termini, lo studio di C. D. Tarlton porta a ripensare i rapporti asimmetrici, evidenziando che, quando non sono adeguatamente controbilanciati all’interno del sistema, essi possono diventare, da soluzione a determinate esigenze differenziate, un nuovo e dirompente problema, che potrebbe condurre alla dissoluzione del sistema stesso.

=== === ===

The federal relationship, in any realistic sense, means something very much different to nearly every participant unit in the system. Among the several states in a federal union, cultural, economic, social, and political factors combine to produce variations in the symbiotic connection between those states and the system.

Two concepts (…) can be introduced and their general content suggested here.

The first, the notion of symmetry refers to the extent to which component states share in the conditions and thereby the concerns more or less common to the federal system as a whole. By the same token, the second term, the concept of asymmetry expresses the extent to which component states do not share in these common features. Whether the relationship of a state is symmetrical or asymmetrical is a question of its participation in the pattern of social, cultural, economic, and political characteristics of the federal system of which it is part. This relation, in turn, is a significant factor in shaping its relations with other component states and with the national authority (p. 861).

[Nella pratica, la “relazione federale” (“the federal relationship“) assume un significato molto diverso per ogni unità del sistema. Tra i diversi Stati in un’unione federale, i fattori culturali, economici, sociali e politici si combinano in maniera tale da produrre oscillazioni nel rapporto simbiotico tra quegli Stati ed il sistema.

Due concetti (…) possono essere qui introdotti e presentati in linea generale. Il primo, la nozione di simmetria, indica la misura in cui gli Stati membri partecipano ai requisiti e così agli interessi più o meno comuni al sistema federale nel suo complesso. Allo stesso modo, il secondo termine, il concetto di asimmetria esprime la misura in cui gli Stati membri non condividono queste caratteristiche comuni.

Se la relazione di uno Stato sia simmetrica o asimmetrica è una questione che dipende dalla sua partecipazione allo schema di elementi sociali, culturali, economici e politici del sistema federale di cui fa parte. Questa relazione, di contro, costituisce un fattore significativo nel configurare i suoi rapporti con gli altri Stati membri e con l’autorità nazionale].

An ideal symmetric federal system would be one composed of political units comprised of equal territory and population, similar economic features, climatic conditions, cultural patterns, social groupings, and political institutions. In the model symmetrical system each of the separate political units would in effect be miniature reflections of the important aspects of the whole federal system. (…) [E]ach state would maintain essentially the same relationship to the central authority. The division of power between central and state governments will be nearly the same in every case (p. 868).

The ideal asymmetrical federal system would be one composed of political units corresponding to differences of interest, character, and makeup that exist within the whole society. (…) In the model asymmetrical federal system each component unit would have about it a unique feature or set of features which would separate in important ways, its interests from those of any other state or the system considered as a whole. Clear lines of division would be necessary and jealously guarded insofar as these unique interests were concerned (p. 869).

[Un sistema federale simmetrico ideale sarebbe composto da unità politiche aventi eguale territorio e popolazione, nonché analoghe caratteristiche economiche, condizioni climatiche, modelli culturali, gruppi sociali ed istituzioni politiche. Nel sistema simmetrico modello ognuna delle diverse unità politiche sarebbe, in effetti, l’immagine riflessa in miniatura dei principali aspetti dell’intero sistema federale. (…) Ogni Stato manterrebbe gli stessi rapporti con l’autorità centrale. La divisione dei poteri tra il governo centrale e quelli statali sarebbe praticamente lo stesso in ogni caso.

Un sistema federale asimmetrico ideale sarebbe composto da unità politiche corrispondenti alle diversità di interessi, caratteristiche ed elementi che si registrano nella società nel suo complesso. (…) Nel sistema federale asimmetrico modello ogni componente avrebbe, a tal proposito, una o più peculiarità che separerebbero, in maniera rilevante, i suoi interessi da quelli di ogni altro Stato o dal sistema nel suo complesso. Sarebbero necessarie chiare ed evidenti linee di demarcazione, gelosamente controllate nella misura in cui questi interessi peculiari fossero coinvolti].

A federal system which resembled the symmetrical model would be a very different one and would involve very different legal, political, and economic problems than one which resembled the asymmetrical model. In this connection many important characteristics of the federal relationship can best be explained by a system of analytical categories which take account of the level, nature, and distribution of the system’s symmetry. One basic characteristic that can adequately be explained only in this way is federal-state conflict, what might be termed the “secession-potential” of the federal system. (…) [F]ederal-state conflict is a likelihood where the relationship between local and central authorities corresponds to the image of the asymmetrical situation, and where that asymmetry is characteristic only of a few of the states in their relation to the whole (pp. 870-871).

[Un sistema federale che si avvicina al modello simmetrico sarebbe molto diverso e comporterebbe problemi di carattere giuridico, politico ed economico molto diversi rispetto ad un sistema più vicino al modello asimmetrico. A questo riguardo, caratteristiche molto importanti della relazione federale possono essere meglio spiegate mediante un sistema di categorie analitiche che tengano conto del livello, della natura e della distribuzione della simmetria del sistema. Una caratteristica basilare che può essere spiegata adeguatamente solo in questa maniera è il “federal-state conflict“, che può essere definito come il potenziale secessionistico (the “secession potential”) del sistema federale. (…) Il “federal-state conflict” è probabile laddove il rapporto tra autorità locali e centrali corrisponde all’immagine di una situazione asimmetrica, e laddove quell’asimmetria è una caratteristica soltanto di alcuni stati in relazione al sistema nel suo complesso].

[I]t seems clear that much of the ordinary optimism regarding the near magical qualities of federalism can profitably be reexamined. The most basic question that must be asked, then, is: To what extent can “federalism” be expected to sustain the stimulus to and the need for unity in the face of the pressures of separatism? The answer, plainly, is: To the extent that the forces of unity are dominant. Unless there is some factor or set of factors which clearly and inexorably push in the direction of commonality, then the pressures of asymmetry will increasingly present themselves, making continued federal existence nearly impossible. (…)

Relieving the tensions and discord often attendant upon asymmetrical systems requires not further recognition of the elements of diversity and their protection in the complicated processes of ever-increasing federalization, but rather increased coordination and coercion from the centralizing authorities in the system. The implications of this kind of thinking about the federal process may entail seroius skepticism regarding the feasibility of using federalism as a means of politically organizing local, regional, national, and international communities (p. 874).

[(S)embra chiaro che molto del solito ottimismo che riguarda le qualità quasi magiche del federalismo possa essere utilmente riesaminato. La domanda più importante che ci si deve porre, quindi, è: in che misura ci si può aspettare che il federalismo sostenga lo stimolo ed iI bisogno dell’unità a fronte alle pressioni del separatismo? La risposta, evidentemente, è: nella misura in cui le forze dell’unità sono predominanti. Fin quando c’è qualche fattore o insieme di fattori che chiaramente e inesorabilmente spinge nella direzione del localismo, allora le pressioni dell’asimmetria cresceranno, rendendo quasi impossibile una duratura “vita federale”. (…)

Per alleviare le tensioni e le discordie che spesso accompagnano i sistemi asimmetrici, non è più necessario fare una ricognizione degli elementi di diversità e della loro protezione nei complicati processi di una sempre crescente federalizzazione, quanto piuttosto aumentare il coordinamento e la coercizione da parte delle autorità centrali nel sistema. Le implicazioni di questo modo di (ri)pensare il processo federale possono comportare un serio scetticismo riguardo la praticabilità di ricorrere al federalismo come un mezzo per organizzare politicamente comunità locali, regionali, nazionali e internazionali].

Charles D. Tarlton, Symmetry and Asymmetry as Elements of Federalism: A Theoretical Speculation, The Journal of Politics, Vol. 27, No. 4 (Nov., 1965), pp. 861-874. Published by: Cambridge University Press on behalf of the Southern Political Science Association.

Testo | Jstor

Presentazione e traduzione in italiano di Francesca Leotta

Foto | Wikipedia.org

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35 risposte a Rileggiamo i classici. Lo scetticismo di C.D. Tarlton sui sistemi federali asimmetrici (a cura di F. Leotta)

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