Most countries around the globe have one or two levels of regional or intermediate government, yet we have little systematic idea of how much authority they wield, or how this has changed over time.
This book measures and explains the formal authority of intermediate or regional government in 42 advanced democracies, including the 27 EU member states. It tracks regional authority on an annual basis from 1950 to 2006. The measure reveals wide variation both cross-sectionally and over time. The authors examine four influences – functional pressures, democratization, European integration, and identity – to explain regionalization over the past half-century.
This unique and comprehensive volume will be a vital resource for students and scholars of comparative politics, public administration and public management, federalism, democratization, nationalism, and multilevel governance.
"This book represents a major advance in the study of regional government and spatial rescaling. It is a fascinating study in its own right, but also an invaluable data set for scholars of comparative government and politics." - Michael Keating, Professor of Politics, University of Aberdeen
"This book is a must for any scholar, student and politician who want to know more about how governments are structured. It combines cutting-edge methodology with the authors’ deep knowledge of regions." - Beate Kohler-Koch, Professor at the International Graduate School of the Social Sciences, Bremen
"The Regional Authority Index will shape debates and analysis in the field of regional governance and decentralization for years to come. This book is its definitive exposition and offers a unique rich source for understanding cross-national variation in the role of subnational government." - Edward C. Page, Sidney and Beatrice Webb Professor of Public Policy, London School of Economics
"This is by far the most thorough attempt to measure the powers of regional governments in a large sample of countries. Given the growing importance of regional authorities around the world, it is a timely contribution to the literature, and the careful documentation of coding decisions will make it a valuable resource to scholars for years to come." - Jonathan Rodden, Associate Professor in Political Science, Stanford University
"For years, the study of political decentralization has been bedeviled by the paucity of credible, precise measures of how authority is divided among the various levels within the world's states. In a book sure to become a vital resource for empirical scholars, Hooghe, Marks, and Schakel provide the most meticulous measures available of regional powers in the largest countries. A model of transparency and attention to nuance, the book synthesizes and transcends previous scholarship in this area, and offers the most compelling portrait to date of the current trend towards regional autonomy." - Daniel Treisman, Professor of Political Science, University of California, Los Angeles
"The study of decentralized governance, multi-level politics and regional governance is of mounting importance in a broad swath of the social sciences. To date, researchers have been stuck with very dissatisfying public finance data from the IMF, horrible indicators from the Polity data set and sundry other sources of dubious value. This book fills a gaping hole in that literature." - Erik Wibbels, Duke University
1. Measuring Regional Authority 2. Operationalizing Regional Authority 3. Validation of the Regional Authority Index 4. An Era of Regionalization Appendix A: Profiles of Regional Reform in 42 Countries (1950–2006) Appendix B: Country and Regional Scores