At its heart federalism is a constitutional device to share power between at least two orders of government. The division of responsibilities and resources between the central government and constituent governments is thus crucial to the way federal systems operate. Such division, however, is never static. The original settlement, as embodied in the federation’s founding constitution, is subject to multiple pressures for change over time. De/centralization trends matter because they alter the ‘federal balance’ and can have far-reaching consequences on federations’ ability to deliver the putative benefits of a federal form of government. Despite their importance for understanding how federal countries evolve, de/centralization dynamics have not been systematically investigated. The panel brings together papers addressing different aspects of the dynamics of de/centralisation and secessionism in federal systems.