A new examination of contemporary federalism and federation, which delivers a detailed theoretical study underpinned by fresh case studies. It is grounded in a clear distinction between 'federations', particular kinds of states, and 'federalism', the thinking that drives and promotes them. It also details the origins, formation, evolution and operations of federal political interests, through an authoritative series of chapters that: analyze the conceptual bases of federalism and federation through the evolution of the intellectual debate on federalism; the American Federal experience; the origins of federal states; and the relationship between state-building and national integration explore comparative federalism and federation by looking at five main pathways into comparative analysis with empirical studies on the US, Canada, Australia, India, Malaysia, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the EU explore the pathology of federations, looking at failures and successes, the impact of globalization. The final chapter also presents a definitive assessment of federal theory. This book will be of great interest to students and researchers of federalism, devolution, comparative politics and government.