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At a time when the operation and reform of federal relations within Australia is squarely on the political agenda, this volume brings together eminent lawyers, economists and political scientists who explain, analyse and evaluate the theory and principles underpinning the Australian federal system. Topics covered include the High Court's approach to the interpretation of the Constitution and how this has influenced federal relations in practice; different forms of inter-governmental co-operative arrangements; fiscal relations between the Commonwealth and the States; and emergent ethno-cultural and socioeconomic diversity within the Australian Federation. Comparative perspectives from Germany, America, Canada, Switzerland, India and the European Union provide unique prisms through which to view the operation of the Australian system and to contemplate its reform.