James A. Gardner writes that the success of two-tiered systems of federal democracy can be puzzling for a variety of reasons. He suggests that the success of federal democracies might rest on the ability of the systems to resolve disputes through the appropriate forum, either democracy or federalism. Gardner argues that such democracies have generally not, however, come up with effective ways for systematically assigning issues to one forum or another. The nature of federal democracy as a dual system does not, Gardner contends, explain why the system succeeds, but rather allows the question to be understood as a better known, longstanding puzzle about how it continues to thrive. Read more here.