Obituary / In Memoriam Professor Michael Burgess

The global community of federalists and the International Association of Centres for Federal Studies mourn the passing of Michael Burgess, an outstanding scholar, dear friend and wonderful human being.

Until his retirement in 2014, Michael Burgess, who died 4th February, 2018, was Professor of Federal Studies and Director of the University of Kent's Center for Federal Studies, which he established in 2005. He credited his interests in federalism to his doctoral studies in the mid-1970s at the University of Leicester. He was one of the few British federalists - both for the UK and for Europe, as well as for the UK as part of Europe, and he was a dedicated European.

Michael Burgess served as Vice-President of the International Association of Centres for Federal Studies and he was an institution and a source of inspiration for all those involved in federal studies, showing how to combine excellent academic engagement with practical sense and involvement in policy advice. He took the work of younger scholars extremely seriously and was always ready to offer his wisdom and suggestions. Deeply respected by his former students and international colleagues, Michael Burgess was as admired for his brilliant sense of humor, humility and generosity of spirit, as he was for his intellect, academic scholarship and infinite curiosity. Michael was a scholar in a class of his own and his lucid writings were prodigious in quantity and quality. He is the author of one of the leading handbooks, “Comparative Federalism: Theory and Practice”, published in 2006.

The human and academic legacy of Michael Burgess will live on, and he will be missed in person but not in our intellectual work.

The thoughts of us all go to his beloved wife and our dear friend, Marie-Louise, who worked alongside him as administrator at the Center for Federal Studies.

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