Numerous scholars have noticed that certain political institutions, including federalism, majoritarian electoral systems, and presidentialism, are linked to lower levels of income redistribution. This book offers a political geography explanation for those observed patterns. Each of these institutions is strongly shaped by geography and provides incentives for politicians to target their appeals and government resources to localities. Territorialized institutions also shape citizens’ preferences in ways that can undermine the national coalition in favor of redistribution. Moreover, territorial institutions increase the number of veto points in which anti-redistributive actors can constrain reform efforts. These theoretical connections between the politics of place and redistributive outcomes are explored in theory, empirical analysis, and case studies of the USA, Germany, and Argentina.
'Rogers joins a growing group of scholars applying the lens of political geography to the study of inequality and fiscal redistribution. In this book, she offers a new set of mechanisms connecting political institutions to redistribution levels, demonstrating through multiple channels the costs of territorially focused political institutions for income inequality.'—Bonnie M. Meguid, University of Rochester, USA
'This book makes an important contribution to better understanding one of the most important social problems. By highlighting the relevance of political geography, it offers a fresh explanation for how and why institutions shape the representation of the poor and the politics of inequality.' —Margit Tavits Washington University in St. Louis, USA
1. Introduction 2. Theory 3. Regional Disparity in the World 4. Parties, Electoral Rules, and Representation in Legislatures5. Executives and National Public Goods 6. Federalism and Decentralization 7. Conclusion