In memoriam: Richard L. Cole

Prof. Richard L. Cole (1946-2017) passed away in Texas on 8 January from complications of cancer. He is survived by his wife, Norma, and three children. Richard had a long involvement with RC28, the last being at the 2014 IPSA meeting in Montreal when he coauthored two papers on RC28 panels. Richard received his Ph.D. from Purdue University in 1973, was an assistant and associate professor at The George Washington University (1973-1979), and served as Dean of the School of Urban and Public Affairs at the University of Texas, Arlington (1980-2008). He retired in 2016. His specialties were urban affairs, federalism, and intergovernmental relations in the United States. During his 44-year career, he published in many prominent journals, including the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Urban Affairs, and Publius: The Journal of Federalism where he authored and coauthored 17 articles—the last being “Citizen Evaluations of Federalism and the Importance of Trust in the Federation Government for Opinions on Regional Equity and Subordination in Four Countries,” Publius: The Journal of Federalism 46:1 (2016): 51-76. Richard was a much-loved teacher, colleague, and friend who will be missed by all who knew him.

Executive elections – candidates

Acting as the nominating committee, the outgoing Executive is putting forward the following candidates for election to the Executive for the period 2016-2018. The online voting system will open shortly and all RC28 members will be notified when it is open. Only members who have paid their dues or have agreed to do so are eligible to vote. Additional details on the Executive elections are available in section 5.5-5.12 of our by-laws.

Paolo Dardanelli (chair) 

Dr Paolo Dardanelli, School of Politics and IR, University of Kent, Canterbury CT2 7NX, United Kingdom, +44 1227 82 7417,,

Paolo Dardanelli is Senior Lecturer in Comparative Politics at the University of Kent, UK, and was formerly Acting Director of Kent’s Centre for Federal Studies. In the 2016-17 academic year he will be Visiting Scholar at Harvard University, USA, and Visiting Professor at the University of Cologne, Germany.

He has researched federalism, devolution, state restructuring, and cognate topics from a comparative perspective for over 15 years. He is the author of Restructuring the European State (under review), Between Two Unions (Manchester U.P., 2005), and of articles in European Political Science Review, Political Studies, Party Politics, Acta Politica, Regional and Federal Studies, Nations and Nationalism, the Swiss Political Science Review and other journals. He is currently joint principal investigator on the project Why De/Centralization in Federations? funded by the Leverhulme Trust, the Swiss National Science Foundation, and the Forum of Federations. His research has also been funded by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council, the British Academy, the Fritz Thyssen Foundation, the Institut d’Estudis Autonòmics, and Presence Switzerland.

Dr Dardanelli is the joint editor of Routledge’s Studies in Federalism and Decentralization series, is a member of the International Advisory Board of the Swiss Political Science Review, and was formerly the Book Reviews editor of Regional and Federal Studies.

He has been involved with RC28 since the Fukuoka World Congress of 2006 and was elected to the executive at the Madrid World Congress in 2012. As a member of the executive, he has been responsible for revamping and maintaining the website.

Dr Dardanelli is keen to build on the experience he has gained over the last four years to help the Committee develop further over the next term. He would be pleased to do so as the Chair of the executive.

Thomas Lancaster (vice-chair) 

Thomas D. Lancaster, Professor of Political Science, Department of Political Science, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA, 1-404-727-6568,

Thomas D. Lancaster is Professor of Political Science at Emory University.  He received his B.A. from Washington & Lee University and his Ph.D. from Washington University, St. Louis. His scholarly works on federalism are part of his broader interests in comparative politics, comparative political institutions (especially in western & southern Europe), and comparative political economy (especially institutional constraints on political & economic decision-making).  He has authored, co-authored, or edited five books and published forty-two scholarly articles and book chapters, including three articles in Publius: The Journal of Federalism and served co-editor of one of its special issues.  He has participated in various roles at the IPSA’s World Congresses at Paris, France (1985), Santiago, Chile (2009), Madrid, Spain (2012), and Warsaw, Poland (2014) in addition to RC-28’s own conferences in Philadelphia (2010) and Edinburgh, Scotland (2015).  In addition, he served a three-year term as an at-large member of RC-28’s executive board (2009-2012) and is currently completing a term as second vice-chair (2012-present).

Wolfgang Renzsch (vice-chair)         

Prof. Dr Wolfgang Renzsch, Jean Monnet Chair of European Studies, Institut für Politikwissenschaft, Otto-von-Guericke Universität Magdeburg, Postfach 4120, 39016 Magdeburg, Germany, +49 391 67 56582,,

Wolfgang Renzsch was appointed university professor at the Otto-von-Guericke Universität Magdeburg in 1994 where in 2005 he became a Jean Monnet Scholar. His research focusses on the European regions within the European multilevel system. He has also done research and written extensively on fiscal federalism in Germany. Recent books include Ausgabenrestriktionen der Länder in Deutschland (Nomos, 2005) and 20 Jahre ostdeutsche Landesvertretungen im Brüssel (with T. Wobben, Nomos, 2013).  Wolgang Renzsch has served on the RC28 Executive in various positions since 2006.

Soeren Keil (program chair) 

Dr Soeren Keil, Reader in Politics and International Relations, Canterbury Christ Church University, School of Psychology, Politics and Sociology, North Holmes Road
Canterbury CT1 1QU, UK, Tel. 01227 863099,

Soeren Keil works at Canterbury Christ Church University in the UK. He first got in contact with RC28 at the IPSA conference in Santiago in Chile in 2009. Since then, he has been involved with most of the RC’s events, including numerous presentations and functions at World Congresses and related conferences. He has worked with many leading federal scholars, including the late Ron Watts, and the late Richard Simeon. These and many others have been an inspiration and have pushed him to focus more strongly on comparative federalism and the use of federalism as a tool of conflict resolution. He would like to serve on RC28’s Executive Committee because he believes that his research focus on federalism and conflict resolution, his experience with organising events and managing larger projects, and his academic networks in Europe and Northern America, make him well suited to help the RC to extend its reach, keep its strong representation at IPSA events and enhance its membership. What is more, he regularly works with policy makers and has been involved in discussions about federalism in Bosnia, Syria and Myanmar//Burma. He believes that this link to the policy world will be an additional advantage and will help the RC to sharpen its profile beyond the world of academia.

Carol Weissert (recruitment chair) 

Director, LeRoy Collins Institute, Professor of Political Science, Florida State University
506 W Pensacola Street, Tallahassee FL  32306-1601, 850-644-1441,

Carol Weissert is LeRoy Collins Eminent Scholar and professor of Political Science at Florida State University. She also heads a public policy institute at FSU. She is a long-time scholar on federalism and served as editor of Publius: The Journal of Federalism for 10 years. In the spring she was the Australian-American Fulbright-Flinders Distinguished Professor in American Politics. While most of her research has been on American federalism, she has encouraged her colleagues to draw more on comparative work and is serving as a model doing so herself. She is committed to serving actively on RC28’s executive and attending the IPSA World Congress regularly.

Harihar Bhattacharyya (at-large) 

Dr Harihar Bhattacharyya, Department of Political Science, The University of Burdwan
Burdwan – 713104, West Bengal, INDIA, 0342-2530925, 0342-2531144,

Dr Harihar Bhattacharyya received his Ph. D degree in Government from the London School of economics and Political Science as an internal candidate. He is currently a Professor of Political Science, University of Burdwan West Bengal (India). During 2006-08 for two years he was Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Commerce, Law, Management and Fine Arts of the University of Burdwan. He held prestigious visiting assignments in various universities in India and abroad: Baden-Wurttemburg Fellow ( 1998) at the South Asia Institute, Heidelberg University (Germany); Visiting Research Professor at the Institute of Federalism, Fribourg, Switzerland (1998-99) (one year); L M Singhvi Fellow at the Hull University, UK (2002); DAAD Senior Fellow at the Heidelberg Universuity in 2007; Visiting Fellow at the Delhi University (North Campus) in 2010; and Eminent Visiting Scholar at the Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla (2013). He taught at the universities of Hull (UK); Heidelberg (GermanY0, Delhi University; and Fribourg 9Switzerland). Prof Bhattacharyya has visited many countries: UK, France, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Canada, Mexico, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, Tanzania, Singapore, Nepal and Jordan. He has also participated in global peace making: Arusha for Burundi (1999); Austria (for Sri Lanka); Locarno (for Sri Lanka); Dulikhel for Nepal.He also facilitated constitution-making for Nepal in 2008. He prepared the India Country report on ‘Decentralization Effectiveness and Human rights: The Case of India’ in 2005 for ICHRP (Geneva) for UNDP.

Prof. Bhattacharyya has authored/co-edited so far 10 books including five single authored and more than 100 research papers in journals and books. His recent books include: (2010) Federalism in Asia India, Pakistan and Malaysia (London and New York: Routledge); (co-edited) (2010) The Politics of Social Exclusion in India: Democracy at the Crossroads (London and New York: Routledge); and (2016) co-edited) Globalization and Governance in India: New Challenges to Society and Institutions (London and New York: Routledge) (2015). One of his recent research articles titled: ‘Federalism and Democracy in India: The Growing Salience of Diversity-claims over Equality-claims in Comparative and Global Perspective’, Regional and Federal Studies (2015) (Routledge).

He has carried out many prestigious research projects of his own as well as international collaboration. In 2013 he completed and submitted report on an ICCSR funded project on ‘Asymmetric Federalism, Tribal Identity and the Left in Tripura’. Currently he is a Lead Researcher responsible for the theme of ‘Ethnic Conflict Management in India’s North East’  in an international research project based in the University of Edinburgh, UK on ‘Continuity and Change in Indian Federalism in the Age of Coalition Governments’ funded by the Leverhulme Trust UK (2014-17 January).

His current research interests are: comparative federalism; decentralization and human rights; democracy in India; and federalism and ethnic conflict management.

In memoriam: Uwe Leonardy (1935-2016)

One of our top international experts on federalism and European Union affairs, Uwe Leonardy, sadly passed away on May 15, 2016. Uwe Leonardy, whose career in public service spanned 35 years, held degrees in law and political science. Following his retirement from office as a German public servant in 1999 he continued to work on the issues that interested him for many years, which included EU reform and German constitutional legal issues.

From 2000 – 2009, he served as Vice-Chair of our Research Committee 28, then called Comparative Federalism and Regionalism, of which he had been a member for many years. Specifically, he worked to promote RC28’s cooperation with the Forum of Federations, for which our Committee is very grateful. As part of that cooperation, he attended many conferences on different continents and was always a very valuable and thoughtful contributor to the discussions. Uwe took part in the founding conference of the Forum of Federations in Mont-Tremblant, Canada (1999), and he also attended their international conferences in St. Gallen (2002), Brussels (2005), and Delhi (2007). He also attended many World Congresses of IPSA, where he served as chairman and discussant on many of our panels aside from presenting his own work and was instrumental in handing the RC 28 leadership off to new scholars and practitioners, while continuing to assist and advise with great dedication and a wonderful sense of humour.

His vast practical experience in Germany coupled with a strong research focus was a great asset, which he used in contributing to the constitutional development in South Africa, where he worked as constitutional adviser from 1993 – 1997. During that period, he became very good friends with South African scholars and practitioners, including Dirk Brand, who Uwe among others brought to serve in the RC 28 Executive. Dirk vividly remembers interesting discussions about the new constitutional arrangements and everything that had to be put into practice. Uwe had a sharp legal mind and could articulate complex issues very well.

Uwe was an experienced constitutional scholar who authored a long list of publications in German and English, which were published in countries such as Germany, India, South Africa, and Canada. His scholarly contributions serve and will continue to serve as a valuable resource. His voice will surely be missed in the many international fora where he was well-known, including the activities of RC28. We pay tribute to a great federalism scholar and practitioner.

Executive elections

Our Research Committee is governed by an Executive that counts at least six members, a chair, two vice-chairs, a program chair, a recruitment chair, and a treasurer (our bylaws). We’re looking for three or more RC28 members to serve in various positions starting this summer. Please let RC28 know by email ( if you’re interested in serving on our Executive. Provide us with your full name, affiliation, contact information, and a brief motivation for your service. You may also nominate someone else in the same way. Members serve in two-year terms for a maximum of 6 years. We will proceed as outlined in our bylaws (sections 5.2 to 5.12) to prepare for the election of current and new members. The electronic election window will open within 14 days after our next Business Meeting at this year’s World Congress in Poznan and will remain open for 14 days thereafter.