Examining federal policies towards capital cities.
Capital cities are unique because they are the seat of the national government as well as the host for national institutions - legislative buildings, museums, arts centres - for which the federal government is responsible. They take on political, administrative, and cultural/symbolic roles that are different from those of other cities. At the same time, they are cities in which people live, use local services, and engage in local political activity. Although many of the political, cultural, and symbolic functions of capital cities in federal countries are similar, there is considerable variation in many of the other characteristics of these cities. In terms of finance and governance, national capitals differ with respect to the local governing structure; their roles, responsibilities, and revenues; and their fiscal relationship with the federal government. These distinguishing features reflect differences in national cultures, historical development, constitutions, political structures, and ideologies.
Using capital cities in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Ethiopia, Germany, India, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, Switzerland, and the United States as case studies, contributors examine federal policies towards capital cities, with a particular emphasis on how capital cities are funded and governed, and the extent to which the federal government compensates them for their unique role.
Contributors include Mario Delgado Carrillo (Secretary of Finance, Mexico City), Rupak Chattopadhyay (Forum of Federations), Isawa Elaigwu (Institute of Governance and Social Research, Nigeria), Assefa Fiseha (Ethiopian Civil Service College, Ethiopia), Natwar M. Gandhi (Chief Financial Officer, Washington D.C.), Daniel Kuebler (University of Zürich, Switzerland), Om Prakash Mathur (National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, India), Graham Sansom (University of Technology Sydney, Australia), Enid Slack (University of Toronto), Nicolaas Steytler (University of the Western Cape), Almos Tassonyi (Government of Ontario), Caroline Van Wynsberghe (Université Catholique de Louvain), and Horst Zimmermann (Philipps Universität).