The International Political Science Association recognised Comparative Federalism as a Study Group in 1984 and granted it Research Committee status in 1987.

According to Lloyd Brown-John, RC28 Founding Chair until 2000, “RC28’s founding story may sound like a piece of fiction […]. It was a rainy day in Rio de Janeiro. The beaches were clear of sun bathers and IPSA World Congress attendees. The room assigned to the panel on comparative federalism was filled to capacity–standing room only–with persons apparently desperate to discover the mysteries of evolving federal political systems. But, let’s take a few steps back…” read more about RC28’s founding story

Bob Agranoff, RC28 Chair 2000 – 2006, is remembered by Uwe Leonardy, the First Vice Chair at the time, for two initiatives: the establishment of a secretariat and a website. “Without the website and the establishment online of the Newsletter we could not have communicated with each other as intensively and as rapidly as we did.” read more about Bob Agranoff

Michael Stein, RC28 Chair 2006 – 2012, shares his recent experience at the helm of RC28: “When I was first elected Chair in August 2006 we had fewer than 30 paid-up members, mostly from North America and Europe. We now have over 50 such members, and several other pending memberships, including many new members from Asia, Africa and Latin America. This reflects, in my view, a growing global interest among political scientists in studies of comparative federalism and federations…”  read more

In 2012 RC28 changed its name to Comparative Federalism and Multilevel Governance to reflect the broader remit of its interests and activities.

Board chairs

Paolo Dardanelli, University of Kent, United Kingdom, 2016-
Sonja Wälti, American University, United States, 2012-2016
Michael Stein, University of Toronto, Canada, 2006-2012
Robert Agranoff, Indiana University, United States, 2000-2006
C. Lloyd Brown-John, University of Windsor, Canada, 1984-2000