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Max Frenkel


Max Frenkel (left) and Koala in Brisbane, 2001 Living in the Swiss village Zuchwil I'm a lawyer turned journalist. Although now retired I'm still writing columns for the German language weekly «Die Weltwoche». Before that I was an editorialist for the «Neue Zürcher Zeitung» after having been director of the ch-Foundation for Confederal Collaboration. It was this foundation which created the Joint Centre for Federal and Regional Studies in Riehen near Basle which I also directed. It should have become an interdisciplinary institute. But to fulfil this aspiration it had neither enough funds, nor was it annexed to a university. Thus, we transferred it to the University of Fribourg in Switzerland where it still exists, having given up interdisciplinarity.

At that time I travelled often to foreign countries, of the third world especially, where I gave conferences on federalism, Swiss or world-wide. If I had some success in this endeavour it was mainly because I also used to know the constitutions as well as the politics of my host countries. But I arrived at the conviction that instead of sending experts to give conferences with little long-term results it would be more efficient for Switzerland to offer grants for young scholars from abroad to come and write about Swiss federalism because this would result in texts which would be both more accessible to their home readership and more pertinent to local problems. After all, to-day's international conferences are little more than academic tourism.

In 1978 I stayed as visiting fellow of the Centre for Federal Financial Relations at the Australian National University in Canberra. There, I prepared an English adaptation of the first part of my two volume study «Föderalismus und Bundesstaat». It appeared in 1986 in Canberra under the title «Federal Theory». The book is now out of print. But because I'm still occasionally asked for copies of it and as it contains in its theoretical parts some considerations which, in this form, are not found elsewhere, I have decided to put it onto the internet (click here). I have inserted but some very few actualizations.

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