The Centre for Federal Studies at the University of Kent

The James Madison Charitable Trust (JMCT) played a major part in the creation of the Centre for Federal Studies (CFS) at the University of Kent. The Trust was involved in the planning and committed substantial resources initially for a period of five years and subsequently extended. The Centre was launched in 2004 and Professor Michael Burgess was appointed its inaugural director. The work of the Centre was overseen by a management board representing both the University and the trust. The Centre swiftly organised a number of workshops, established an annual lecture, and sponsored PhD studentships. It was soon at the heart of a significant research and publication programme, with numerous books and collections prepared within its framework. Over the years, a number of research fellows went to Kent to conduct their research under the aegis of the CFS as, under Professor Burgess’ leadership, the CFS established a national and international reputation as a centre for the study of federalism.


JMCT welcomed this progress and its annual grants to Kent secured the CFS while it built up its reputation. In addition to funding the directorship and other administrative costs, JMCT approved individual grants to PhD students for research expenses and to staff for research purposes. The Centre also established a Master’s degree in Comparative Federalism which has attracted students from around the world. On Professor Burgess’ retirement, Professor Richard Sakwa became Director and he worked closely with JMCT before the directorship was passed to Professor Adrian Pabst. The successor directors broadened the work of CFS but also maintained it as a vibrant centre for the study of federalism and associated issues. The focus of the work is “federalism, devolution and citizenship”. This triptych will apply to the British and European contexts but will not exclude global issues or the broader international environment.


The study of multi-tiered levels of government both within a country and between nation states is a core reason for the existence of JMCT. As CFS develops and focuses on project work, JMCT will continue to provide support.


Details of the Centre can be found on the University of Kent website:  Centre for Federal Studies

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