Informations and abstract
In recent years claims for autonomy and self-government have conditioned the politics of the so-called "multinational democracies". In such democracies, national minorities have obtained one form or other of self-government thanks to various kinds of federal framework. Such important political processes have significantly contributed towards the renewed interest in federalism. In particular, a number of scholars have pointed out the need to formulate a specific variety of federalism to meet the needs of national minorities: "asymmetric federalism". Thus, unlike scholars such as Carl Friedrich, Daniel Elazar, Kenneth Wheare, who thought that traditional, symmetrical federal institutions could be used to manage nationalist claims thanks to their intrinsic capability of dealing with unity and diversity, many contemporary political scientists (e.g. Alfred Stepan, Alain Gagnon, Ferran Requeio, Michael Burgess and others) have analysed the relationship between nationalism and federalism through the concept of asymmetric federalism. Focussing on the different dimensions of the concept and analysing such a literature, its results and suggestions and its limits, constitutes the aim of this paper.